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      Panhandle Spirit helps family recovering from house fire

      T he Panhandle Spirit, no doubt, always shines through when our neighbors are in need.

      That was the case for a Potter County deputy and his family after their house and belongings perished in a fire, just days before Christmas.

      It was on December 21st, around 11:30 p.m. when Deputy Heath Woods, and his wife and two small children were awaken by their home's fire alarm.

      "He heard the smoke alarm and went to check and by the time he got in there, pretty much the whole front was up in flames, so we only had a few minutes to get out and call for help , " said Sabrina Woods.

      It was that quick action that saved the lives of his family.

      "Everyone's safe . O ur animals are safe and that's what matters most. Everything else can be replaced or the things that we did lose we just remember them in our hearts and our minds , " said Sabrina and Heath Woods.

      But what the community did after their tragedy is what really humbled this family. A simple message asking for donations began to spread. From e-mail, to Facebook, then by word of mouth, until donations were flooding into the Sheriff's Department. From money, clothing, even Christmas gifts for their toddlers.

      "Losing everything you don't realize how much you had and what all little things you need , " said Heath.

      The family did have insurance. For now, they're staying in a rental house and slowly rebuilding, one day at a time.

      "It's hard moving into a new home knowing that you didn't willingly give up your old one , " said Heath.

      "We really appreciate your help from the bottom of our hearts it was, it opened up our eyes and a lot of people's eyes that there is still people in the community and in this world that think of other people ".

      That's what the Panhandle Spirit is all about.

      If you would like to donate to the Wood's family, you can drop those off at the Potter County Sheriff's Office in downtown Amarillo at 6th and Pierce. (click here for a map)