Smithwick family recounts fire event

By Mark Goodson

Highlander Sports Editor

Lue Angell sat under the shade tree in a her flip flops Friday morning, reflecting on 29 years of living in the country on the north shores of Lake Travis.

Angell and her family lost everything they owned Thursday night when their house burned to the ground, leading the community to begin online fundraising.

“It started just right outside the door,’’ said Rick Angell, who built everything on site at the 3-acre Lake Lot on Bonnie Lane in Smithwick. “It took no time for the fire to spread.’’

The fire engulfed the main house, a 2,800 square foot structure, in less than 10 minutes.

No one was injured in the fire. Rick Angell was the only one at the house when it started.

Fire departments from Marble Falls, Spicewood, Granite Shoals, North Lake Travis and Bertram responded.

“It only took four of five minutes for the first truck to get here, but they had only 300 gallons of water,’’ said Marble Falls firefighter George Tennison.

In all, it took 3,000 gallons to get the fire under control, Tennison said.

Firefighters were working to clean up the mess left by the raging fire on Friday.

“What do you do?’’ said William Burleson, one of Lue’s twin sons. “You come out here and do this.’’

Burleson was digging trying to find his personal keys in the area where his room in the house once stood.

“We lost everything,’’ twin James Burleson said. “This place was full of memories. This is where the family always came. We built everything here and now it’s gone.’’

The Burleson twins said they were 16 when they first started coming to the lake place.

“This is total devastation,’’ said James, who retrieved his passport out of a travel trailer parked on the property. “I ran in there to get my passport and the firefighters started spraying it. That’s the only thing that saved it.’’

James salvaged some arrow heads out of the rubble. The workshop was filled with woodworking tools of all kinds.

“There is not anything he (Rick Angell) couldn’t build,’’ Lue said. “He could build furniture, anything you needed…Oh my, the kitchen table where we had our meals is gone.’’

The three-acre property was where the family spent all their get togethers.

“We came here for every holiday,’’ said William, 47.

Neighbor Marcia Blayney, who lost her place in three years ago, was on hand Friday lending a hand.

“When you get our age and have something like this, it’s hard,’’ Blayney said. “This is our life. Rick and Lue built this place and now it’s gone.’’

To help the Angell family, contact

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