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Family Grateful, Despite Destructive Fire Sunday in Deatsville (Elmore County); In Search of Rental



The fire destroyed bedrooms of five children who live in the home. (Photo contributed)

On Sunday night, Nov. 10, a fire began in a shed in Deatsville (Elmore County side) on Tanner Road, but then spread to a home destroying bedrooms of the children who lived there.

Homeowners are Ashley and David Veltjes and they have five children in their care. The ages range from a 15-year-old girl, a 14-year-old boy, a 13-year-old girl, and 12-year-old boy and girl.

Many people have heard about the fire and have asked how to help.

Mysti Shamblin is a friend to the family and trying to help them as well. Currently their greatest need is a place to rent. They need to stay close to the same area, as the kids go to Holtville schools.

“At this point, I think they have most of what they need, but honestly there is nowhere to put anything until they find another place to live,” Shamblin said. “If anything they could need, maybe gift cards for the kids to help replace what was lost. I know that a lot of clothes have been donated already, and everything is greatly appreciated.”

The family had insurance on the property, but it will take time for that to work itself out. In the meantime, they need a roof over their heads. If anyone has ideas about that, where the family can perhaps rent near the Holtville/Slapout community, please contact Shamblin at 210-422-6904 or by email at

Shamblin said that everyone was home at the time of the fire, other than two of the boys who were at church. “The dogs were barking and David heard them, went to check and found the shed engulfed and the fire was spreading to the house. They all made it out safely,” Shamblin said.

This occurred in the Lightwood Fire Department District, but mutual aid was offered by Deatsville and Elmore Fire Departments as well to extinguish the fire.

This family had insurance on their home on Tanner Road in Deatsville, but is currently trying to find a rental property after a destructive fire. The kids attend Holtville schools.