Carol and David Marine of Daily Paintworks and their 6 yr. old son Jacob lost their home in a terrifying fire yesterday out near Bastrop, Texas. Their entire subdivision was wiped out (up to 300 homes) and the fire is still spreading – it’s currently 16 miles long, 6 miles wide, has covered over 35,000 acres and is moving south towards another town. Today’s forecast of more high winds is bad news for surrounding areas.
[UPDATE: A neighbor confirmed late Monday afternoon that nothing of their home survived. It’s just dirt and ashes. Over 1,300 homes have burned and the fire is only 30% contained as of Thursday, Sept. 8, 2011. Please see the end of this post for an update on the astounding outpouring of support from the online community — and artists in particular.]
They lived in a cute, little house in the middle of a beautiful pine forest, which is kind of an aberration in Texas. Rolling hills, tall towering trees, orange pine needles everywhere on the ground. All of which made for a lot of tinder, due to an extreme drought and the highest temperatures ever recorded in the state for August.
Here’s an older picture of their house right after they bought it, before they added on a woodshop and studio for Carol. Jacob is a bit bigger now:
My 16 yr. old daughter Maddie and I were visiting them, along with two of Carol’s friends, Karen and Randi. We were sitting around their big table, making earrings and necklaces together; laughing and talking–when a neighbor came over and told us we had to leave right away.
At first, Karen and I went out to the backyard to see and were making jokes about how David had paid off a neighbor to say that, just to get all these crazy women out of his house. We couldn’t see anything over the tall trees. Then Randi went out front and we heard her saying, “Oh my god. Oh my GOD!”
When we stood in the front street, we could see huge clouds of billowing smoke about 200 feet away from us. There wasn’t even enough time for them to take more than their computers. I backed my car through their front yard and up to Carol’s studio, but we didn’t take anything more than a few small paintings of Carol’s. They lost all her art that filled their house.
Carol took their small car and David hooked up their pick-up to their camper, so luckily they have that. They’re currently in a campground and will have to decide where to go from here….
When we finally left, the smoke had changed to black and was much bigger. It was incredibly frightening. Here’s a video that someone shot on YouTube:
They had good insurance, but it will take time for that to all kick in, so I’d like to help them in the meantime.
Please consider making a donation below to help them get back on their feet.
.It’s true, the most important thing is that they’re safe. They are my extended family and I love them all dearly. But my heart aches for everything they lost – all the mementos, all the memories, their sense of sanctuary.
Thanks for your help. And please say prayers for everyone that lost their house, dear pets, or is still in harm’s way.
UPDATE: As of mid-day on Friday, Sept. 9th, only five days after the fire, over 300 kind and generous people have donated almost $18,000 to help Carol and David. That’s right: almost EIGHTEEN THOUSAND DOLLARS!!! You have no idea what this means to them, folks. No idea. They have been moved beyond words and have cried about this more than once — in a good way.
FINAL UPDATE: As of Sept. 20th, the fundraiser was closed, with over $21,000 raised!
Carol and David say thank you, thank you, thank you a million times over for this wonderful expression of love and support from fellow artists and fans of our book.
To see all these incoming links from art blogs far and wide, to see the names of so many NOTB readers and studios and even other daily painting sites online, honestly, it’s blown their minds. It’s really something to be proud of. Y’all are part of something special….
You’ve turned a gut-wrenching experience for Carol and David into something affirming, amazing and beautiful….
They can never thank you enough and they will never forget this!