Waco family picking up the pieces after losing all belongings to electrical fire

Ratliff family lived on Spring Street for 40 years before losing their home on July 21
Published: Jul. 25, 2022 at 6:07 PM CDT
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - “We’ve got fire involved, the back of the structure is fully involved,” said a voice from the Waco Fire Department scanner on Thursday July 21.

Those words captured the loss and devastation suffered by Waco family now picking up the pieces after an electrical issue caused their home to go up in flames.

“It just ruined everything, so that was it. All of it burned up. It melted everything,” said homeowner David Ratliff.

David and Velma Ratliff lived in their home on Spring Street for 40 years, but in a matter of hours, it was all gone.

The couple, married for 48 years, are looking at a new beginning after the house fire late last week caused the pair to lose everything they own.

“Right there, with the big hole. They saw it wear in right there and went up through the roof,” said David as he pointed to where the fire gained momentum and spread.

The fire started in a back bedroom and burned a hole in the roof, allowing the flames to easily travel throughout the rest of the home within minutes.

The home was paid off, but unfortunately, was uninsured, meaning the couple won’t receive any funds from the fire.

“The firetrucks were here, and everyone was standing, and the house was just smoking, and I just started crying because I said, ‘Well, I don’t know what to do right now’ because we had nowhere to go,” said Ratliff.

During the fire’s peak, witnesses and Waco Fire Department recall hearing loud booming noises coming from the back porch. This could have been a combustion of materials mixing with the fire.

Now in the process of cleaning up, the Ratliffs are finding family photos and various heirlooms among the debris but say everything else is a total loss.

Appliances, clothing, bedding and furniture, all lost in the fire.

“It was more than we expected once we had got here. And I was like, ‘oh wow, not our family home. My parent’s home,’” said Sherri Ratliff, one of the couple’s four daughters.

Since losing their home, the pair have been staying with their daughter Sherri and a GoFundMe has been set up to help the Waco family get back on their feet.

The pair wasn’t home when the fire started.

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