Panhandle Spirit helps Canyon fire victims pick up the pieces

Inferno engulfed a building of an apartment complex destroyed four living spaces early Monday morning. / Emily Griffin - Pronews 7

"Then he started barking a lot, like a bark we've never heard before and you could hear glass breaking downstairs. I opened the door to our bedroom, went downstairs and there was a fire there", said Jacob Becker, recent victim of the apartment fire in Canyon.

Only a few hours after their dog Dallie woke West Texas A&M University grad students Andrea and Jacob in the middle of the night this past Monday, their apartment, vehicles and all their belongings went up in smoke.

"There's literally nothing left", added another fire victim, Andrea Spencer.

But, WT, the Agricultural Sciences Department and the entire community of Canyon were determined not to let this tragedy hold these students back. Already, monetary and material donations have come flooding in and, with a little help from the man upstairs, Andrea and Jacob even have a temporary home.

"The home we have behind us is usually reserved for a PhD student, and it just happened to be vacant and I think that's kind of a blessing that we could have a facility available", said Assistant Professor of Agricultural Media and Communication for WT, Tanner Robertson.

The Ag Department has even set up a n account at First United Bank for donations, just one more show of support that Andrea and Jacob say they can hardly describe.

"Everybody has been helping us out and it's amazing", said Becker.

"It's just support we had no idea we had until this happened. You can't even explain how much we appreciate it", continued Spencer.

Andrea and Jacob know WT has played a crucial role in their recovery...

"WT is still a small school a heart, I don't know if we would have gotten treated the same a a big school", said Becker.

But it's Dallie, they say, they have to thank for their lives.

"If old Dallie hadn't woken up, woken us up when he did, we might not be around", Becker said.

I f you'd like to help these students get back on their feet, call or visit First United Bank in Canyon, give them the name of Andrea Spencer or Jacob Becker and tell them you'd like to donate to their fund.