KAUFMAN COUNTY, Texas (CBS11) – For one North Texas family, 2018 will be a year to rebuild after a devastating loss shortly before the new year.
It’s a family that spent the last year helping others in need and now they are relying on those people for help.
When tornadoes devastated parts of Van Zandt County last year, Krystal Phillips used her party rental business to help raise money for those who’s homes were destroyed in the storm.
“Now I understand this drive of me helping others,” says Phillips.
That’s because two weeks ago she lost her home to a fire.
“I got the horrific phone call no one would want to get, mommy the house is on fire what do we do,” she says.
“It was miserable watching your whole dreams and life fall into ashes.”
It happened only three days before Christmas during a time when the 36-year-old mother says she’s going through a divorce.
It led to a lapse in bills including home insurance which left her uncovered.
But Phillips says the strangers she came to the aid of during the Canton tornado are now returning the favor.
“The exact families that I helped are the ones of stepped in and provided my kids clothes and Christmas gifts for the kids,” she says.
Only the family’s dogs and pigs remain on the property which now serves as a bleak reminder of how little this family of five has left.
Still a new year brings resolve and hope.
“I want a home again that my kids can call home,” she says.
Krystal and her kids are moving around between motels and friends houses until they can find an affordable rental home or RV.
While Krystal’s kids escaped the burning house unharmed, one of their pets did not survive.
The cause of the fire has not been determined.
A GoFundMe account has been set up to help the family.