Local teacher’s home burns down as father clings to life after violent crime

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DURANT, Okla. (KXII) A family already reeling after one of their loved ones was attacked and severely beaten gets more bad news at the hospital: their home in Durant burned down over the weekend.

What remained of the home at the end of McClure Road was still on fire when KXII pulled up on Monday.

“They lost everything they had,” neighbor Perry Dunn said. “They have nothing left. Even their car burned.”

Dunn said he woke up to two popping sounds around 7 AM Sunday.

“I jumped out of bed and started looking out windows I looked down here and saw this house was totally engulfed in flames,” Dunn said. “I thought Oh my God. Five people in this house. I hope they’re not in there.”

Brandi Watts, a science teacher at Caddo High School, lived there with her husband and their three children. But they weren’t home when the fire broke out, they were at the Neurological Center in Plano.

Watts said they have been there for the last 14 days, ever since her father Marty White was beaten nearly death and suffered a stroke earlier this month.

McCurtain deputies said White was dragged out of his truck by a group of men and beaten after getting into a crash near Wright City.

Charles Jacobs of Fort Townson was arrested for the crime and charged with aggravated assault and battery. He has since bonded out jail.

“She’s got a lot to take in right now,” Dunn said.

Now, with the family already raising money to help pay for White, their neighbor is stepping up to try to get some help for them.

“I took in the dogs here and I’m going to take care of them and we gave about four five bags of clothes to the husband,” Dunn said. “What we could. But they still need help.”

Dunn said he will be opening a donation account at Vision Bank for the fire victims on Tuesday.

A brisket benefit is scheduled for White at the Wright City School Cafeteria on May 27 at 2 p.m.

Watts said they don’t want anything for herself or her husband, but did tell KXII her children’s clothing sizes when asked for them. She said their 15-year-old daughter is an adult small, size 0. Their 13-year-old boy is an adult medium with a 30/34 pants size and their 9-year-old is a youth medium.

No word yet on how the fire started.