"No one knows what happened yet," Babb said. "One of the oldest kids said she heard a pop from the direction of the front porch, as if something hit the house, and everything went up in flames. The fire marshal was there for hours."
Babb said the
"They said the wind was a factor, blowing from front to back and the house went up."
The house at
Babb said her daughter's family got out of the burning house -- most in pajamas, some in stocking feet, some barefoot.
"They lost everything," Babb said.
The fire isn't the first time that disaster has touched Babb's family.
"They've been through a lot," she said of the six children -- Jasmine, 15, Jaden, 14, Ellyce, 12, Jesse, 11, Kaylee, 10 and Layla, 8 -- who lost their father last summer due to a motorcycle accident.
The youths, though, are in good spirits, Babb said, and "My daughter, Katie, has been strong through this. She'll survive."
Babb herself lost her son, David, in the TWA Flight 800 crash on
"You ask yourself Why? How do things like this happen? But something good will come out of this. I don't know yet what that will be but everything has a silver lining," she said.
"Until you go through a tragedy, you don't understand what is important. Things are trivial. They can be replaced."
And they are.
A Monday Facebook post by
"The Boyle family has received an overwhelming amount of support in clothing, socks, shoes, toiletries etc etc.," Tervo posted. "They haven't even been able to sort through everything they have received. Katie & Gary and the kids are completely overwhelmed by the love and support of our community."
Anyone still wanting to help, Tervo wrote, can contribute on a GoFundMe page set up for the family, or donate either to an account set up at Gilliland's Market in
"So many people have come to the house," Babb said. "They came until
She said her sister-in-law is coming to do that for her.
"The people of this community are great," Babb said. "They have really come through with clothes, shoes, boots, coats -- brand new items."
Babb has become overwhelmed by the support, but isn't surprised by it.
A real estate broker, Babb has worked with insurance companies before and knows what to expect in the days ahead.
"I know of two or three houses Katie can rent until they decide if they want to buy or rebuild. Insurance companies provide everything from furnishings to the spoons. People have offered furniture but I've asked them to hold off until I see what they need."
She added on Monday that she's become a short-order cook, seeing to it that everyone has been fed. "It will take us a few days to figure it out.
"They will be living with me -- six kids, and two adults coming in joining two of us already here. It looks like the Brady Bunch house. We're a little on top of each other now but we'll make it work."
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