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Plano, Texas News

Plano First Responders Rally Behind Grieving Widow After Tragic House Fire

In a tragic incident on August 18th, the Plano Police Department and Plano Fire-Rescue rushed to the scene of a devastating house fire in the 6600 block of Biltmore Place. The blaze claimed the life of Mr. Terry Hurlbut and the family's beloved dog, "Gracie," along with their entire home. Mrs. Sandy Hurlbut and her second dog, "Jake," were the only survivors of this heartbreaking event.

Sergeant Thornsby of the Plano PD, who was the patrol supervisor on duty that fateful night, was deeply moved by the tragedy. His compassion led him to take action to help Mrs. Hurlbut in her time of dire need.

Sergeant Thornsby collaborated with officers from the Plano PD and personnel from the Plano FD to gather monetary donations to assist Mrs. Hurlbut. Additionally, Sergeant Thornsby's wife, touched by the situation, ordered a variety of items for the surviving dog, Jake. These included a dog bed, dog bowls with a feeder station, a new leash and collar, dog toys, dog treats, and an automatic dog feeder, generously donated by a friend.

With the combined kindness and generosity of Plano PD officers, Plano FD personnel, and friends of the Thornsby family, a significant monetary donation was collected to support Mrs. Hurlbut.


On September 3rd, 2023, arrangements were made to meet with Mrs. Hurlbut and her family. In attendance were Mrs. Hurlbut, her daughter Lisa, son-in-law Tim, granddaughter Kristin, along with Officer Warren, Officer Ansley, and Sergeant Thornsby. The family was presented with the collected donations and gifts, which brought tears, hugs, and smiles to Mrs. Hurlbut's face. Even "Jake" showed his gratitude by rolling over and wagging his tail in appreciation.

Mrs. Hurlbut has endured the profound loss of her husband, home, and cherished pet. To assist her in rebuilding her life, a GoFundMe account has been established. The family has also requested that those wishing to contribute to their local animal shelter do so in honor of Gracie.

The Plano community is immensely proud of its first responders who went above and beyond their call of duty to support Mrs. Hurlbut during this difficult period in her life. 

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