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Account set up for Brown County soldiers who lost homes to fire

Drone aerials of Lake Brownwood fire (Courtesy: Danny Hutchins)

Camp Bowie is helping two soldiers who lost everything in a fire by letting them live on base temporarily.

First Sgt. Loren Pogue's house and Staff Sgt. Mark Montoya's trailer were destroyed by a wildfire on Jan. 30.

"That's probably the biggest thing that hurt is the memories are all gone," Montoya said.

The war veteran moved to Lake Brownwood two months ago and live on a lot next to Pogue's home.

Montoya said Pogue suggested he move there to help cut down his driving time. Montoya had been driving from San Angelo to Camp Bowie in Brownwood for the past year until he found his own place.

Both national guardsmen are stationed at Camp Bowie to train solders for combat.

Although the fire destroyed his military gear, guns and awards, Montoya considers himself the lucky one out of the two soldiers. Insurance won't cover any of Pogue's financial losses.

"The house is gone. [Pogue's] tools are. His dream of bringing his kids there one day and having them stay there and live with him that's gone," Montoya said.

RELATED: Soldier loses irreplaceable American flag in Lake Brownwood house fire

Among the burnt rubble is an American flag that survived two tours in Iraq.

"We all signed it, it was like a bond for us that we were here together," Pogue said. "We fight together, we help everybody we can and we all come home the best we can."

One of the soldiers who signed the flag died in combat.

The Brownwood Fire Marshal determined the wildfire was started by winds hitting powerlines, which created small embers.

"My goal right now is to recover and move on because that's all I can do," Montoya said.

A GoFundMe account has been set up to help Pogue and Montoya. Click here if you'd like to donate.



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