The Barret and Cara Traylor family fortunately escaped a fully involved house fire in the middle of the night around 3:30 am on December 23, just 2 days before Christmas. The mother, Cara, woke up and when she opened her bedroom door to the living room found it full of flames. “Something told her to go check on the kids, that’s when she found the fire when she was checking on them,” said Moore VFD Fire Chief J.D. Earls. “The fire started in a wall, suspected electrical. The kids and mom were checked out by EMS units on scene and mom was transported to the hospital for smoke inhalation, released shortly after,” said Chief Earls.
The children’s bedroom was on the other side of the living room wall, but fortunately they were able to be rescued and all got out of the house and called for help.
“It started out as a small fire in the wall a couple of feet high when we woke up”, said Barret Traylor. “Fortunately Cara woke up because I’m a heavy sleeper. After we got the kids out I brought the water hose in and tried to put it out three times. I even reached inside the wall with the hose. But with the 12 foot ceiling of the old Victorian Style house it had already reached up the wall and into the attic. It wasn’t working. I couldn’t get to it. So we got out. The kids and Cara got in the truck to head to the gate to wait for the fire trucks and our daughter started asking for her house cat. So I went back in to look for her, but the smoke was too much. I even crawled around a little but it was crazy. Even after being all over that house the last 30 plus years I couldn’t find my way around so I got back out immediately. Cara was yelling for me to come back out because she saw flames coming out the top of the house. We were very lucky. I have had fire training for my job, but it just gets so confusing inside when it’s filled with smoke. I wouldn’t recommend anyone trying to go back in to a fire no matter how well you know your home.”
Barret is the grandson of Gus and Beverly Roberts and Ruth Traylor all of Devine and the son of Dennis and Cynthia Traylor of Corpus Christi, formerly of Devine. Cara is the daughter of Jeff and Cheryl Walker of Uvalde.
“Early morning, 23 miles from the station, the first truck was enroute 6 minutes and on scene 28 minutes from time of call,” said Moore VFD Fire Chief J.D. Earls. “We used a little over 20,000 gallons of water on this home Moore Fire is currently returning to station after a very difficult and long morning. At around 3:30 am, crews were paged out for a structure fire. The home was a complete loss despite the best efforts by all those on scene. The occupants of the home got out with only one minor injury. While the main fire was knocked down quickly, stubborn hot spots and flare ups kept crews busy deep into the morning. Thank you to everyone on scene for their assistance.”
“The ranch house burned down today at 3 am. Barret, Cara and the 2 kids made it out but lost everything,” said Rhonda Levy of Devine, Barrett’s Aunt in a text to family and friends. “God woke Cara up and she went and opened the door to the living room and it was in flames. The kids rooms were on the other side of the living room wall,” she explained. “Thank you Jesus they are okay and got out in time. The house was 107 years old and burned quick. Let’s all give Jesus a praise.”
Anyone who would like to help out with a monetary donation or household supplies can contact or bring it by The Devine News office or contact their Grandpa Gus Roberts at 210-667-3576 or Aunt Rhonda Levy at 210-269-6365. “We have had so many people bring us clothes and are so grateful, actually have more clothes now than we have ever had”, said Barret and Cara Traylor during an interview. “We appreciate all the help and are starting to replace things like medicine, first aid and household supplies. Gift cards have been so helpful. We appreciate everything that has been done to help us.”
Barret wears 36-38 jeans and extra large shirts. Cara wears 9-10 pants, medium shirts, and 7.5 or 8 shoes. The children: their 6 year old daughter Addy wears a 6 or 6x and their 9 year old son Tristan wears a 10-12.
“The house burned down a couple days before Christmas so all of their Christmas gifts as well as all their belongings inside the home were burned up. We are so grateful they are all alive! Quickly the next day some of our family and friends got together some gift cards to help replace some Christmas gifts and items necessary immediately. They have a long way to go to get back on their feet but are happy to be alive. They stayed with his sister Amanda and family in Pearsall for a few days, but have found a small travel trailer to live in on the land until they can figure out a more permanent solution,” said Levy.
“We put smoke alarms and CO detectors in the trailer right off. Unfortunately our smoke detectors didn’t go off in the house and I had even put new batteries in them recently and checked them. But it still feels right to have them. Not sure why they didn’t go off”, they said.
“Our prayers are with everyone affected by this situation… We would like to thank Dilley Fire, Bigfoot VFD, Pearsall Fire, Uvalde VFD, and Sabinal VFD for all the support of water and manpower to a fully involved structure at about 3:30am this morning.. Please pray for the folks who lost everything including their Christmas. We also want to thank everyone for their hard work, and our firefighters for staying focused no matter how tired they were. After refueling, filling tanks, scrubbing hose, and getting everything back in service and ready for the next call we were back in service just shortly before 14:00. Yes that s right, a little over 10 hours. Thank you to our crew for all the hard work,” said Moore VFD Fire Chief JD Earls.
The house is on the same property as the old courthouse and jail in Frio Town. But this residence was actually built as a home. The home has been in the family since it was built in 1910. Gus Roberts grew up in this home. It was a complete loss. There was no homeowners insurance.
Moore fire had 5 trucks and 11 firefighters; we also had mutual aid and water support from Pearsall Fire, Dilley Fire, Bigfoot Fire, Uvalde Fire, and Sabinal Fire.