Mannford resident itching to rebuild after fire destroys everything

MANNFORD, Okla. - After Mannford resident Richard Keeling and his girlfriend watched their four trailer homes, eleven cars and campers burn they didn't leave. He and his girlfriend Ashley set back up on the property, but in a different way.

On Friday night, Richard and Ashley slept on the ground, Sunday night in their pontoon boat and Monday night in a tent. This is their fourth night of a new reality. The couple says they'll stay in the tent until further notice.

"One night I'm sleeping (with) an air conditioner," said Keeling.  "The next night (in) 100-degree heat."

Keeling says looters have already stolen from his neighbors.

As for his possessions, he says everything was paid for.  He didn't have insurance or a bank account. He says all his money was in the house.

The couple has these two dogs and five kids. Their children are staying with grandparents.

Keeling's next plan is to load up all his burnt scrap metal, sell it and buy a trailer so his kids can come back.

Why camp out? Why not go to a shelter? Keeling replied, "I have no money. I'd live in a tent before I'd go to a shelter."

For now, they're getting by with a lot of donations.

"Hopefully things get better," said Keeling.  "They can't get much worse. If I went to jail right now i'd have air conditioner and three meals a day."

Instead, Keeling's ready to get to work.  He puts together metal buildings for work.  He hopes someone will donate tools.

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