Fans help family of Texans cheerleader devastated by fire


Smiling is part of Texana's routine. Typically you'll find the bubbly 18-year-old performing on the football field as a Houston Texans cheerleader.

"We get a call on our way home and that's when things kind of got out of control," said Texana.

An apartment fire earlier this week gutted her family's unit while they were away. She lost nearly everything, including her dog, Patches. of eight years.

"We grew really attached to her," said Texana. "It was hard seeing her pass. I'm glad she wasn't burned in the fire. Heat or smoke got to her."

"It took off so quickly we didn't expect it," said Chuck Thompson with the fan group Battle Red Freaks.

Thompson heard what happened and immediately started a fund to raise money for Texana's family, or as they call themselves, "fan-mily."

"The hours they put in to help the team. They don't get paid much to do what they do," said Thompson.

It's a gesture from strangers that has kept Texana's smile wide, despite a sad, chaotic week for her family.

"Thank you to everyone is not enough," she said. "We're so grateful, so grateful."

At this point, the cause of the fire appears to be electrical, having started in the wall and spread.

For now, Texana and her family are in temporary housing until they can settle in their new apartment unit.

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