VICI, OKLAHOMA -- They weren't here for the actual fire.
The Stewarts, Richard and Aliceson, and granddaughter Jocelyn had to evacuate when the big Rhea Fire came calling in mid-April, 2018.
"Everything was black," says Richard
"It happened so fast, "says Aliceson. "We went up to the store to get a drink and when we came back it was coming this way."
Firefighters saved their house and shop, but this stand of oak and cedar burned up leaving nothing but black skeletons behind.
Richard admits, "I thought nothing would ever grow here again."
It is still a depressing sight.
Most of their neighbors are planning to bulldoze the dead trees and burn them in big brush piles.
Aliceson had another idea.
"That's when we got the idea to turn something bad into something good. Let's try to make furniture if we can."
Surely, she thought, some of those scorched trees could be salvaged.
So the Stewarts went to work.
They bought this saw mill and started cutting planks from some of the bigger oaks and red cedars.
All three of them picked up power sanders.
Jocelyn picked up stencil and paint too.
It turned out that wood, so black on the outside, was still pretty on the inside, maybe even prettier when you consider what it went through.
"You can make anything out of it," says Aliceson. "It's really pretty wood once you cut it."
After sanding and staining, and applying even more burns in the way of electric current, the salvaged wood from their land sprang to life in grains of color.
A red cedar table here, another made of burned oak.
The Stewart's dead trees didn't seem dead at all any more.
"There are some huge trees there," says Richard of his burned out grove. "We'll use the small ones and the big ones."
They're still experimenting.
After all there's plenty of wood to spare, but Stewart's Custom Home Furniture is a fledgling business a season after the fires, a true Phoenix rising from the ashes of western Oklahoma.
"Stuff that's bad into good stuff?" asks 6-year-old Jocelyn.
"Yeah," agrees Aliceson.
Right now, you can find Stewart's Custom Home Furniture on their Facebook site here.