Two Central Texas families lost everything they owned in separate house fires just days apart

Published: Jul. 25, 2023 at 9:23 PM CDT
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LOTT, Texas (KWTX) - A Lott family returned to their home in flames last Wednesday night, just three days after their daughter was displaced from the deadly apartment fire in Lacy Lakeview.

Lisa and Marks Bates’ home was in one piece when they went to the store last Wednesday, but 30 minutes later, they said everything they owned was gone as a result of an electrical fire.

“As we got closer, we could tell it was our house and it was already completely gone. I got out and just took off running.”

Bates said her mother died two years ago and mementos they relied on to remember her went up in flames.

“Everything she gave me is in this house and it’s gone. My kids’ stuff that I carry with me everywhere.”

Bates said she didn’t expect to relate to her daughter, Rheannon Rivero’s situation.

Rivero lost everything in the deadly Northgate Apartments fire in Lacy Lakeview just three days before Bates.

“It’s horrible. My daughter, they’re not sleeping. She’s scared to go to sleep. She was about to go to sleep when she heard there was a fire. It’s sad that somebody did that to them,” said Bates.

Thanks to management at Northgate Apartments, they were able to get some clothes that were donated to the families impacted by that fire.

Bates said even though the two are going through a tough time, Rivero continues to lift her spirits.

“She’s my rock, she is. She’s always been. With everything she’s going through, every day, the first thing she does is, ‘Mom, how are you doing?’”

Bates said she’s been through a house fire before, so cherishing her belongings is meaningful to her.

“But losing everything I had, now I’ve carried. I’ve carried with me to make sure I kept safe. It’s just hard because we have nowhere to go. We don’t own this land; we owned the trailer. Now it’s gone so we have to go.”

Bates said she looks at everything as a sign and hopes better days are ahead.

“And maybe it’s time for us to move and get out of here. I just don’t know where we’re going.”

Bates thanks the Red Cross, Rosebud’s Emergency Management, and First Baptist Church of Rosebud for paying for motel rooms since the fire.

Click here to find links to donate to the Bates family and others affected by the Northgate Apartments fire.