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Cancer Patient Homeless After Power Company Mistake

CORPUS CHRISTI (CBSDFW.COM) - Pete Cason has defied death, and the cancer growing inside him, for three years, his wife Kathy a nearly constant companion.

"I know my life's short," Cason told the I-Team, in an emotional interview at a family member's home in Corpus Christi.

Hope further dwindled for the family at Houston's M.D. Anderson Hospital where doctors told the Casons the chemo had stopped working.

"Terrible …terrible…terrible timing. It's a bad deal," Pete Cason said.

If that wasn't enough, the Casons began getting calls from frantic neighbors in Burleson.

"The neighbor that I could understand, she first told me the house was on fire. Then she called back and told me that it was burning to the ground," said Kathy Cason, as she wiped away tears.

CBS 11's I-Team, through exclusive interviews with family members, neighbors and fire investigators, has learned the fire was started by the electric utility company, Oncor.

Pete and Kathy Cason (credit: CBS 11 News)

"Oncor had made a mistake," Kathy Cason told the I-Team. "If I understand right, they were changing out wires and hooked it up backwards," she said.

Pete and Kathy Cason said an Oncor representative apologized, but offered nothing else, not even a place to stay when they return to North Texas from M.D. Anderson.

Instead, Kathy Cason said, the representative "told me that he needed me to make a list of everything we lost …It's kind of hard to do."

She added, "We have neighbors who are doing more than what Oncor's done." Pete Cason added, "A lot of people are doing more. Oncor ain't done zip. Nothing."

But that may change after the I-Team talked to Oncor.

"While we're still completing our investigation, we have accepted responsibility and are already working with the homeowner to make sure they get fairly compensated," Oncor spokesperson Jeamy Molina said.

"We know this is just a horrible situation and we sympathize with the family as they're going through this …We're working as quickly as we can to help them resolve this and help them move forward," Molina said.

The Casons, reached after the I-Team's interview with Oncor, said they hope they will hear from the utility company soon.

"I hope they'll help in finding a place, and replacing some of the stuff that can be. I mean, we have nothing," Kathy Cason said.

The family, as they look for a place to stay and continue to search for a cure for Pete, are thankful for neighbors who rushed into their burning home to save their cherished pets - four dogs and a parrot.

And they keep their faith.

"I went into a coma about a year ago, and when I came out of that coma, I was a totally different person," Pete said. "I keep chugging along. I'm a fighter," he said, adding: "And I'll fight with Oncor if they want to fight."

People who want to help Pete and Kathy Cason can do so by emailing Jolinda Sanchez at In addition, the Burleson Church of Christ is taking up gift cards for the couple.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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