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Community assists family displaced by fire

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Donations are pouring in from the community for the Shanks family of Lantana after their house burned down on May 29.

The family of five lost just about everything when their 4,005-square-foot home on Blanco Drive in the Carlisle subdivision took a lightning strike and caught fire. They had only lived in the new home just shy of a year.

Efforts to assist the Shanks began almost immediately and several organizations have stepped up to facilitate.

Lantana-based charity Mission Moms, the Lantana Community Association, Lantana Ladies League and Liberty Christian School are collecting cash, gift cards and clothing for the Shanks family.

“The people of this community and our school are wrapping their arms around us. It’s amazing to see how many people are so selfless,” said homeowner Louis Shanks. “We are just thankful to God for taking care of our family. We are very blessed.”

Kathryn Flores with Mission Moms said that her organization has collected over $4,000 in cash and gift cards and local businesses were donating hot meals to the family.

Shanks said that he and his family had just returned home from softball practice when the fire started and were not aware their house was hit.

“We saw the bolt as we entered the neighborhood but I thought it hit the stables across 407 behind our house,” said Shanks.

“We went into the house not knowing we had been hit. We were inside settling in when my daughter said she heard someone in the attic. She kept insisting that there was someone up there.”

Shanks’ nine-year-old daughter, Julia, knew something was not right.

“My mom told me to go to bed but I heard a sound like popcorn popping in the oven and my dad came up there and found the fire in the attic so we all ran out.”

As the family was running out of the house, neighbors and strangers were running in and grabbing photos and personal items.

“I met a man from Argyle who was diving down 407 taking his son to baseball practice and he saw the flames and did not hear any sirens, so he pulled into the neighborhood and was one of the people who rushed in and helped us take things out of the house,” said Shanks.

Shanks said that his family is currently staying in their old house in Lewisville that they were about to put on the market to sell.

Even though their house is a total loss, Shanks wants to rebuild the exact same floorplan on their lot in hopes that lightning does not strike twice.

If you would like to assist the Shanks family with cash, gift cards or clothing, contact the Lantana Community Association at 940-728-1660, Mission Moms at 214-734-5783 or Liberty Christian School at 940-294-2000.  Click here for more information on donating.

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