Mexia man loses everything in Christmas Eve fire, family tries to help from afar

Published: Jan. 3, 2023 at 1:08 PM CST
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MEXIA, Texas (KWTX) - The New Year may mean starting fresh for new goals and resolutions, but a Mexia man is starting over this year in a much more literal sense after losing almost everything from a devastating fire.

Jerry Mason’s renovated home went up in flames on Christmas Eve.

“I came out of my bedroom, and my whole table was on fire,” he said. “I panicked, I didn’t know what to do.”

Mason said he went next door to call 911 because he could not find his phone, and, the fire got out of control with his dogs trapped inside.

“By the time I got back, it was only not even a minute, and the whole thing just exploded in flames,” he said.

Mason suffered burns on his face in his efforts to get back inside to save the dogs. He said the loss of his best friends, Ziggy and Ginger, hurt the most.

“I’m still in shock,” he said. “The house is one thing, but my dogs were like my children.”

Mason moved from California to Mexia after his mom passed away six years ago. He said the cost of living was too expensive, so he moved to Mexia where a close friend lives.

Some of his deceased mom’s things were lost in the fire, including a wooden cross that Mason said meant a lot to him.

He also lost years-worth of business cards and sentimental things he collected. Now, they are either destroyed or severely burned.

Mason lives on Social Security and says he could not afford home insurance when he moved to Mexia, and his daughter lives in Arizona. She said, when her and her husband found out about the fire, they tried to help as much as possible from afar.

“Knowing that he doesn’t have a home right now is pretty sad,” Shayla Jackson, Mason’s daughter, said. “We are just trying to do what we can to try to help him out from here.”

Jackson set up a Give Send Go account for Mason to help him. She also called Habitat for Humanity in hopes they could help build him a new home.

Mason has received some help from the Red Cross and local churches for clothes and necessities, and, for now, he is staying on an air mattress at a friend’s house.

However, he said it’s been extremely hard to get through this loss.

“I feel numb and sick all at the same time,” Mason said. “I keep thinking about my dogs.”

But, he’s remaining optimistic and thinks he may have even found a new best friend.