Woman Guards Scrap From Fires Against Looters

Saturday, September 3rd 2011, 11:38 pm
By: News 9

Jamie Oberg, News 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Dozens of families won't be watching football this weekend, instead they are assessing the damage to their homes and lives from wildfires, including one that destroyed about 19 square miles in northeast Oklahoma City.

One woman who lost everything is camping out, not leaving her property.

She's camping out because she says looters are already eyeing all she has left after fire destroyed her home and her belongings.

But Lori Turner is also seeing Oklahomans do what they do best, showing there's still some good people out there willing to help.

Charred cars, trucks and piles of melted metal that's what's left of one woman's property near 63rd and Sooner Rd.  It may just look like a sad junkyard to many.

"As bizarre as it may sound, people look at all this and all they see is dollar signs," property owner, Lori Turner said.

But for Turner, it's home.

"This is my porch. This is my dining table," she said, showing a camper someone donated to her.

Friends say looters and scrappers have already dropped by looking to make a buck.

"They don't understand that I've lost everything in my world," Turner said.

Amazingly, Turner remains optimistic and positive, even after all she lost in the fires.

"People have been coming out of the woodwork, they've been so kind and gracious and I'm truly blessed."

She says support from strangers and neighbors are what keeps her going.

"It's getting a little bit easier, but I still got a long road ahead of me," she said.

A pastor who saw her story on News9 drove in from Choctaw to see if there was anything he could do for her Saturday afternoon.

"I've got a four-wheel-drive John Deere tractor we want to offer you," Pastor Alan Sanders from The Altar Church said. "Offer some help in the clean up, trailers or whatever we can do to help OK?"

Overwhelmed, Turner couldn't help but breakdown, but she holds on to hope for her future.

"I guess this is the silver lining. I never thought I was special but, boy, they've sure made me feel like I'm on top of the world," she said.

Turner is a painter by trade and another church congregation took her to Lowe's to get supplies so she can start working again.  A group of friends plan on holding a garage sale in October to help her out as well.

Lori Turner had no homeowner's insurance.

Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner John Doak surveyed the damage Thursday and says preliminary damage estimates are already in the millions.