ALVIN, TX-- You wouldn't know it by looking at the smiling faces of the McDonald family, but three weeks ago almost everything they owned went up in flames.
Mom Jackie McDonald explains,"I was watching TV in the living room, and my son comes out a yells there's a fire. And of course, I didn't believe him."
But it was true. Something electrical sparked in the wall of their mobile home.
"From the time that we saw the fire til the firefighters got here," says dad Jay McDonald, "it was like four minutes. It was out of control then."
Daughter Jordan, 16, drove into their driveway that night to find her home engulfed in flames, "I started screaming, thinking my parents were in there, and I couldn't get to them at the time." Jordan's dad, Jay, is paraplegic. "But then my mom came running out, saying everyone was okay. And I didn't care about any of my stuff then. Just that my parents were okay."
She points to a six foot high mountain of mud and ash, "My room is that big pile of rubble right there." Amazingly, something did survive, though-- Jordan's tickets to the J.J. Watt Charity Softball Classic. She was worried they might not let her in since the tickets were charred. But when J.J. read about the accident on Twitter, he tweeted, "This crushed me. Of course you are still welcome, Jordan!"
Jordan adds, "He said, I want you to come and take an at-bat for me at my game, and so I was so excited. ... I started crying...cause I like J.J. I always say he's my future husband."
Before that wedding can take place, the next step is clearing the lot and putting down a new slab where their home once stood. But it won't come cheap-- about $14,000. The whole community has come together to help: holding fundraisers, offering shelter, even setting up a YouCaring crowdfunding page to help replace their home.
For a direct link to help with a donation, click here.
Jordan echoes the sentiments of the whole McDonald family when speaking of those who have helped them, "I wanna thank them so much because we wouldn't be where we are without them. We'd be... we'd be in rough shape."
Fire may have taken their home, but it's also given them something. "It brought us closer together as a family," says Jay, whose son Jayson has been staying on the property night and day watching over the things they were able to salvage.
Jackie says, despite everything, she feels blessed, "We're just glad everybody made it out and is okay."