Family Thankful Even Though House Fire Destroys Nearly Everything

Family Thankful Even Though House Fire Destroys Nearly Everything
By: Crystal Britt

BERTRAND, Mo. - "I've been so cheerful lately," said Nola Passley. 
It's hard to imagine, especially with the bitter cold winds of winter stirring up what's left of what the Passley's once called home.
"We lost everything, and don't have a nickle's worth of insurance," said Willis Passley.
It was Sunday afternoon and no one was home.  When Willis Passley returned he says he saw smoke.  Knowing his granddaughter's cat was inside...he reacted.
"So, I kicked the front door in.  When I did, the trailer just blew up.  The fire went from one end to the other end...blew me off the steps and plum out of my shoes," said Willis. 
It was all lost in a few moments.
"You hear things on TV, but when it happens to you you realize what they're saying because my pictures...memories raising my grandchildren, sweeping the floor, seeing them in the bed," said Willis. 
The Passley's though are looking beyond the devastation.  When we started our interview they were hoping their granddaughter's cat could be found. 
Willis said, "Anybody who sees her...we'd like to have her back." Minutes later the couple's granddaughter Cynthia came up and said, "I found her...she was in that shed." Willis replied, "Oh really? Well, praise the Lord--the alley cat's been found."
Their thankful for that, thankful for their lives, and the outpouring of generosity from the community and local charities.
"I can't get over the gratefulness and goodness of people," said Nola. 
Perhaps though, there's something to them that's even more astounding.  Nothing's left here at the Passley's home.  The fire melted and wiped out nearly everything they owned...everything, but a few pages from the book of Exodus in the Bible and a picture of Jesus Christ.
"It was in my bedroom, under some clothes," Willis said.  Nola said,
"I don't know how it did not burn," said Nola. 
To the Passley's, it's a sure sign to keep the faith.  
The Passley's are staying with their daughter, who lives nearby, until they can find a new place to stay.  If you to would like to help, a fund has been set up at Focus Bank in Charleston.