VINITA, Okla. — A Vinita, Oklahoma family is counting its blessings after an intense fire engulfs a pickup truck just feet away from their home.
How the fire started is a mystery, but what remained in the ashes is something the family said was a divine message.
Steven Gaut and his five children, mesmerized by what remains of their only form of transportation.
“I felt like crying honestly and it’s hard for a grown man to cry,” Gaut said.
With just two weeks before Christmas, the Gaut family is left with a holiday struggle.
“All the money that’s going to be going to Christmas is now going to have to go – I’m trying to divide it up to where I can get something,” Gaut said.
Fire officials said it happened Sunday when Gaut was at the store. They believe someone threw a lit cigarette in the back of his truck, which would later ignite the fire once parked at home.
Gaut said he didn’t even realize his truck was on fire, quickly about to spread to his home. He said the fire made its way to the truck’s horn, which made it start honking. That’s when the family looked outside to see the truck in flames.
The blaze torched the truck along with the hearts of the Gaut family. They began looking for things to salvage.
“The first thing I asked for was to see if my bible was OK,” Gaut said.
Surely enough, the Gaut’s found a promise of hope to raise them from the ashes.
“The bible was down there on the ground — and they had to pry it up from the case,” Gaut said.
The family is calling it a true Christmas miracle. The bible belonged to Gaut since he was 13. Each page was still pristine, only worn from worshipping hands.
A moment of panic as the embers dimmed, turned to a realization of the true meaning of this season.
“God has made it to my eyes that I should be grateful for being alive,” Gaut said.
Although times will be tough, the Gaut family said they find comfort knowing they won’t face it alone.