CARBON, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Life is still not back to normal for many residents in Eastland County who lost their homes and almost all their possession in the Eastland Complex fire just one year ago. Mary and Will Jackson are one such family and recently moved a travel trailer on their land where their home once stood.
“Our lives have kinda been put on hold for a year,” said Mary Jackson.
Thanks to the generosity of their community, they’re one giant leap closer to getting back to normal. A home purchased through the United Rescue Alliance was transported to the land by their friend and professional house mover of 45 years, Clinton Eaton.
“This is one of those moves that you just don’t see happen every day,” Eaton explained.
Although the home was only five miles away from them, it sat on the side of Highway 6 for months. Eaton said he was ready and able to move the structure but the electric company needed $8,000 to raise the electric lines in the road so the home could pass through.
“This one’s been a nightmare,” expressed Eaton.
Upon hearing that the home was so close and transportation was arranged, Oncor Electric offered to raise the lines for free. No small task, as the home is two trailers wide and taller than any vehicle that the roads were made for.
“When they found out what it was for they pulled together. They did it for the people of this town,” said Eaton.
These acts of kindness fell warm on the Jackson’s hearts. Mary shared that the vacant lot where their home used to be has been an unpleasant reminder of all they lost.
“Right after the fire I was so devastated, I was just numb for days I couldn’t even come back and look at the property… It’s really bad when I get to thinking about it and I can’t even see a picture of my kids when they was little,” Mary Jackson said.
With the home now on their property and soon to be placed for good, they have a much happier outlook on their future in Carbon.
“I feel good. Man, I feel good!” Will Jackson exclaimed.
“It feels like we have a new lease on life,” Mary Jackson expressed.
A fresh start that they couldn’t have imagined one year ago. This job that could have cost close to $70,000 from start to finish was done completely free of charge thanks to the generosity and kind hearts of the people they call neighbors.
“If it hadn’t have been for the people that helped us out, I just couldn’t have made it,” said Mary Jackson.
“Everything’s looking good and I just give God the praise,” Will Jackson added.
Eaton has done similar jobs for many people affected by the Eastland Complex Fire. Although he lost most of the buildings on his land and has not yet been able to replace them, he said it’s a joy to see his neighbors getting back to some sense of normalcy.
Eaton added that anyone wishing to get involved in helping other residents affected by the fire should contact Carbon City Hall at (254) 334-1600.