Dear family update: most funeral expenses have been donated - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

Dear family update: most funeral expenses have been donated


KLTV has an update on the two East Texas families who lost three children in a tragic house fire.

The fire started around 3 a.m. on Sunday in the 200 block of Kay Street in Winona. Two adults and eight children were inside the house when the fire started.

The community has been working diligently to help the family who was left behind; Lloyd James Funeral home says that they have gotten donations for the family from individuals and companies, and that most of the funeral expenses are covered for the family.

Fortunately, those who were injured and in the hospital are getting better.

Family say Heather and Bryan Dear worked together to try to save their six children and two family friends from the fire that destroyed their Winona home.

Two of their children, 9-year-old Colby Taylor Watson and 6-year-old Riley Taylor Hickman,  along with a family friend, 4-year-old Jackson Davidson, passed away.  

Heather Dear is now listed in fair condition at ETMC in Tyler.

"That's my baby girl, that's my only baby girl. She's not on the oxygen, she's in a private room now," said Ricky Watson, Heather's father.

Her husband was treated and released from a hospital in Shreveport, where their son Colton is being treated for burns. Family tell KLTV he could be released on Wednesday.

First Baptist Church in Winona is collecting donations for the family and said their phone has been ringing off the hook with people touched by this tragic story.

"Not just from people in East Texas either. I started getting calls from Hawkins and it just went out from there. I got an email from a lady in Dallas. We got a call this morning from Alabama," said First Baptist Church's pastor, Tony Watson.

People like Victoria Oswalt who does not know the family personally, but like many others, is donating as much as she can to help.

"I'm keeping them in my thoughts and in my prayers and I hope they can recover from this," Oswalt said.

The church said they now have plenty of clothes, but are a little low on a few other items. The Dear family has a six month old baby who could use some diapers and baby formula.  The Dear family is also in need of shoes in the following sizes:

Two boys: size 3 and 3 1/2

12-year-old girl: size 7

Brian Dear (father): 12 Men's

Heather Dear (mother): 8 1/2 Women's

The Dear family said they do not have renters' insurance and lost everything. The Davidson family said they could use some help with the cost of little Jackson's memorial service.

If you would like to make a monetary donation, the First National Bank of Hughes Springs in Winona is accepting donations in the Dear family's name. There is an account set up for Jackson's memorial at Altra Federal Credit Union in Tyler.

Donations can also be made at any Capital One Bank.

While donations are extremely helpful, the families ask for continued prayers.

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