Fires leave two Roosevelt County families displaced

Donald “Andy” Anderson flips through some of his collectible comic books on Thursday that were destroyed when his home caught on fire. (Freedom Newspapers: Leslie Spence)

By Tony Parra: Freedom Newspapers

Fires have destroyed the homes but not the spirits of two Roosevelt County families.

L.A. Davis of Floyd said he lost everything in a Nov. 30 fire that started at the Melrose Bombing Range and spread south toward Floyd. Davis said just the other day it hit him how little his family has.

“I wanted to get shoe treatment for my boots when I realized I didn’t even have that,” said Davis, who lives his wife Sarah and their two grandchildren. “I don’t have anything. Me and Sarah had more when we got married.”

Less than two weeks after the grass fire that charred more than 27,000 acres around the bombing range, a fire leveled the mobile home of Donald “Andy” Anderson of Portales.

The Dec. 10 fire left Anderson without furniture, clothes and any other possessions. Anderson is staying with his mother, who lives next to his house. Remarkably, only presents Anderson had bought for other people were not destroyed. They were lying in the living room.

Anderson, 23, is an avid collector of comic books, action figures, posters and memorabilia. He’s spent years and years collecting and now its all gone. Kayce Whitacre, Anderson’s mother, said a comic book collection was started for her son before he was born. The family owned The Spider’s Web comic book store.

Still what hurts him the most is losing the items that remind him of his dad, who passed away when Anderson was a Portales High sophomore.

“I lost photos of me and my father when I was younger,” Anderson said. “I lost models he built. Things I can’t replace.”

The Davis family and Anderson have had to look for a place to stay in the meantime.

Davis said his family has stayed with other family members and they also spent time at a hotel. Davis said they will be moving into a house a friend offered to them in the meantime. Davis said people have donated items such as children’s clothes to them.

“Everybody’s called to ask how we’re doing,” Davis said. “They’re all angels.”

Nora Cross of 14K Hair and Nail Salon in Clovis said people can donate items for the Davis family at the salon. Davis said they are putting together a claims list for a settlement from Cannon Air Force Base, however receiving a settlement and building a home could take years.

Anderson doesn’t have anything to fall back on. He said he couldn’t get his mobile home insured because it was too old.

“What Andy needs the most is someone who will lend him a home or a lender for a loan,” Whitacre said.

Anderson said friends and co-workers have been helpful, such as Amiri Alexander, who traveled from Albuquerque to see how he could help. According to Anderson, Wal-Mart co-workers have offered him furniture, but he has nowhere to put it.

Despite the adversities they have been dealt, the families who have lost their homes have one strong common belief, stay positive and never give up.

Both families are grateful that the houses weren’t occupied when the fires occurred. Davis said his wife and grandchildren were in Lubbock for a doctor’s visit when their house burned.

Anderson said he was working at Wal-Mart when his house burned down.

“I don’t know what I would have done if I lost Andy,” Whitacre said. “Bad things happen to good people. If you keep your sprits up, what doesn’t kill you will only make you stronger.”

Whitacre said her son takes care of his grandmother and he took care of a friend who was suffering with AIDS. She said he also took care of his grandfather before he died.