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Tahoka family displaced by September fire receives emotional surprise

Published: Nov. 19, 2021 at 3:24 PM CST
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Two months living in their new home, Cassie Caudill of Tahoka lost her home, vehicle, and her two dogs - Case and Rigby. After seeing their story on KCBD, Ashley Furniture reached out saying they wanted to help.

The fire happened on September 21, around 9:30 p.m. The family went to eat dinner and returned to find their home in flames. They lost their home and everything inside, a vehicle... and took the lives of both of their beloved dogs.

“When we pulled into our driveway we never expected to find our home and everything we worked for in flames, with our four-legged babies trapped inside,” said Caudill on their GoFundMe page.

“We saw on the news, the tragic blaze that took their fire, that took their belongings. We saw how devastated the family was, and we as a team said we got to do something. We got to help,” said Bernard Kaplan of Ashley Homestore. “What better way right before Thanksgiving to have a new dining room table. To have new dressers, some new items for her child because that’s what makes a home,” he said.

The surprise delivery wasn’t just about the furniture they received. Along with a $5,000 gift card and blanket for Cassie’s daughter, they also received two paintings of their two beloved dogs who died in the fire.

“A portrait of her dogs was a lifetime gift. We know that that’s something she’ll have for a lifetime that hopefully over time will heal their hearts.”

Shortly after receiving the portraits, Cassie begged to hold the frames. The Ashley Furniture crew at Caudill’s temporary home agreed the portraits will be what most will remember.

“I think that was the best gift that I have probably ever received in my life,” she said while fighting back tears. “I will cherish those forever. Those dogs were our babies, so to have such a special memory of that for them is the best. It’s amazing, it is! I hope I don’t still have mascara running down my face from earlier, as if I’m not making it worse,” she said as she was wiping tears from her face.

While the family can now enjoy Thanksgiving with their new table and chairs, Kaplan stressed the company also focuses on helping people’s emotional needs as well.

“These are our neighbors, and when they hurt, we want to help. We know that those were some tears of sadness, but probably some tears of happiness too. Furniture is one of those functional things. You need somewhere to sit and eat your breakfast, your lunch, and dinner. But, it’s what heals your heart. That’s what’s hurting because you can bring back the furniture, but you can’t bring back your loved ones.”

Family and friends set up a GoFundMe account to help replace what they lost.

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