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Fire Victims Say Utility Company Not Doing Enough For Leaving Them Homeless

HOUSTON (CBS 11 I-TEAM) – Pete Cason's days are now spent inside waiting rooms …living from one doctor's office to the next …at M.D. Anderson Hospital.

Cason and his wife allowed the I-Team to be with them during one of their days at the hospital, still hoping to stop the cancer from continuing to grow in Pete, as wind whips the charred rubble in Burleson where the couple's home once stood.

They remain focused on the stubborn disease, with little time to think about what happened on May 6 when an Oncor utility crew accidentally burned the Casons' home while working on electrical lines in the back.


When the I-Team began asking questions, Oncor admitted it was responsible.

In Houston, Cason asked his oncologist a simple question: "What's going on with me medically?"

Dr. Ahmed Kaseb chose his words carefully: "We are still not done with this fight."

Cancer isn't their only battle. They have to find a home.

"He has to have a place to go home to," Kathy Cason said as she sat next to her husband in the small examination room, tears welling up in her eyes.

The Casons say Oncor has offered them $33,000 for the loss of all of their belongings -- an amount the cancer victim and his wife have rejected.

They say they've been too busy fighting the cancer to respond.

So their son countered at $200,000. The family says Oncor then wanted a list of everything that was lost, including date of purchase and price that would be used to factor in depreciation.

"It made me sick. You are talking about the last 26 years of our life, going through what we are going through right now," she told the I-Team, adding, "It's ridiculous."

An Oncor spokesperson told the I-Team that the company has settled with the home's owner, which is the Casons' son, for the loss of the house, but is still working with the family on a settlement for their valuables inside.

His doctor by his side, Pete Cason wished for a resolution soon.

"I don't want to be worried about Kathy. And then I got my son …he'll be able to take responsibility …to take care of Kathy when that time comes," Pete Cason said as he placed a hand on his wife, shook away tears, and added: "I don't plan it to be soon."

(©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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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