Waco community rallies around family who lost everything to electrical fire

The couple who have been married for 48 years did not have insurance on their home which was paid for.
Published: Aug. 28, 2022 at 11:03 AM CDT
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - A Waco family is still picking up the pieces after an electrical fire left the couple without a home or any belongings.

Now, their community is coming together, having held a benefit for the Ratliff family to help them get back on their feet.

it’s been a little over 30 days since David and Velma Ratliff lost their home.

A home they lived in for forty years.

On July 21, 2022, a call came across the scanner that read, “”we’ve got fire involved. The back of the structure is fully involved.”

The couple wasn’t home when that call went out and weren’t aware of the fire until a neighbor notified them.

They still have their lives and the memories they made but all the family’s belongings were lost to the fire.

The pair did not have home insurance leaving the couple who’ve been married for 48 years, to start over.

“I was thankful that my parents weren’t at home. When i saw the picture of the still frame of the back of the house, just all in smoke, i thought oh my god, my parents,” said Toshia Ratliff.

Toshia is one of four Ratliff daughters that grew up, making memories in the house on spring street.

She along with her sisters and community members close to the Ratliff’s held a benefit in honor of David and Velma on Saturday night.

Ratliff family at the benefit held for Velma and David
Ratliff family at the benefit held for Velma and David(KWTX)

“I just want to say thank you for what y’all have done. It’s not about what kind of money you raise or how many people are here. It’s all about the heart,” said David Ratliff.

Currently, David visits the house every day to further the cleanup process.

Working to either save what he still can or fill dumpsters, without help, it will be months more before the site is clean.

“For me, you find out that you still have people in the world that care about you and still want to help you. Any time i can help someone I want to do that gratefully and thankfully because you have to help one another at this time,” said David.

Familiar faces and new were all in attendance as the Ratliff’s celebrated the continuation of their life.

The pair made sure to thank their community and God for taking care of them as they navigate this difficult time.

The family says donations are still welcomed as the couple lost all of their clothing, furniture and food to the July 21 blaze.

Donation methods:

- GoFundMe

- CashApp: $velmaratliff