Jenks family's home destroyed by fire, but Bibles found unscathed
BY MICHAEL OVERALL World Staff Writer
Thursday, January 24, 2013
1/24/13 at 4:29 AM
JENKS - Just as they were sitting down to dinner one night, the lights went out and a strange orange glow flickered through the living room window.
Marcus Burns went to check on the electricity while his wife, Lauren Burns, opened the door to look outside.
"The whole house was on fire," she remembered. "It happened that fast."
Apparently caused by a gas leak, the Dec. 14 fire killed the family's dog and destroyed their home. The couple escaped unharmed, and their three kids weren't home at the time. The next morning, they managed to salvage a few photographs, but nearly everything else was reduced to ashes, especially in a back room where Lauren Burns home-schooled her two youngest children.
"The school books were completely gone," she said. "Not even ashes."
But the family kept five Bibles on the same shelf as the textbooks. And they found four of them as unscathed as Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego - three biblical figures who were saved from a fire by divine intervention.
"The pages weren't even singed," she said. "They looked like we had just taken them down off the shelf."
Only one Bible was still missing, and she assumed it must have burned up with everything else.
Then, last week, a demolition crew began clearing the debris to make way for a new house on the same site.
"Be careful," Jason Davis, the owner of Titan Quality Construction Services, told his workers, "and watch out for anything salvageable."
Not long after they started, a backhoe operator called Davis over to what used to be the school room.
"Look at that," the worker said, pointing down to a Bible that was lying in the rubble.
"Did you put that there?" Davis asked the crew.
No one had touched it.
"It was pretty amazing," Davis said. "There was no damage from the fire or the smoke or the water. It was like somebody had sat it down there five minutes ago."
The demolition stopped long enough to give the Bible back to the family.
"It was a very inspirational moment for all of us," Davis said. "We felt like we had witnessed something very special."
Skeptics have asked him, if God miraculously spared the Bible, why not spare the whole house? But believers don't expect to be exempt from hardships, Davis said.
"We just believe that God is going to be with us," he said. "And that's how I see this, as sign that God is still here, even in the hard times."
Original Print Headline: Family's Bibles unscathed by fire
Michael Overall 918-581-8383
Lauren Burns and her children Blaize Shaw, 11, and Camy Shaw, 7, show off a Bible on Wednesday that was found undamaged by a demolition crew after a fire destroyed the family's Jenks home. MICHAEL WYKE/Tulsa World