For the second time in ten days, tragedy struck the loved ones of a Sutherland Springs, Texas shooting victim when the family patriarch’s home was destroyed by fire early Wednesday morning.
Local ABC affiliate KSAT News reports that Marion Colbath was forced to flee with just the clothes on his back after his San Antonio home was ravaged by an accidental fire. He is the father of David Colbath, who was injured on November 5 during Devin Patrick Kelley’s shooting rampage at the Sutherland Springs First Baptist Church.
Marion Colbath escaped unharmed with his adult grandson Hank Summers, who had recently moved in with his grandfather to be closer to his injured uncle, who is still recovering at a local hospital after undergoing multiple surgeries on his arms and legs.
The mass shooting at Sutherland Springs was the deadliest ever in Texas history, claiming 26 victims, including seven children and the unborn child of a pregnant woman who was slain along with three of her young children and other family members. Another 20 people were injured, including David Colbath.
His father Marion lost all of his material possessions in Wednesday’s house fire, and his nephew lost irreplaceable photographs.
San Antonio Fire Department Battalion Chief Steve Reuthinger told KSAT News that the fire department believes the initial blaze was caused by a cigarette in the bathroom. Firefighters originally thought they had extinguished the flames when the single-story house was engulfed once again. KSAT News captured the blaze on video, and ammunition reportedly inside the home was heard exploding.
Hank Summers told KSAT News that in addition to his uncle, he knew many of the other victims of the November 5 shooting, which put this most recent tragedy into perspective.
“Pray for my friends. Pray for the community of Sutherland Springs. Don’t worry about us,” he said.
A post on the GoFundMe fundraising campaign page established to aid Marion Colbath noted that the retired father of three, grandfather of five, and great-grandfather of three children lived on Social Security and lost “everything he owned” in the fire, including medication and irreplaceable keepsakes.
[Feature image: GoFundMe/Colbath family members]