Peering through the doorway into the Hankins home, all that can been seen is charred rubble.
Flames from the Sumner Grade Fire destroyed almost everything they own.
“I had to wait until we got here the next day, and I just couldn’t believe it,” Janee Hankins said.
When flames sparked, Shaun and Janee Hankins thought their home would be OK.
“Honestly, I didn’t think we would be in that much danger,” Shaun Hankins said
Things changed in an instant.
“People were coming down the road screaming, ‘It’s in the neighborhood. You got to get out. You got to get out.’ I looked over there, and there was a big old wall of flames,” he said.
They could feel the heat, so they grabbed their dogs, hopped in their cars and rushed away.
“I didn’t get in the safe. I figured it’d be fine, but it wasn’t, so here we are,” Shaun Hankins said. “The contents of the safe were completely toast.”
The flames melted windows, fried electrical wires, torched trees and scorched nearly every single item in their home.
“I think, in retrospect, I would’ve grabbed all of our precious memories and packed those up first because that’s what hurts the most, because everything else is replaceable,” Janee Hankins said.
The pain of the loss is still sinking in.
“It’s just kind of touch and go,” she said. “For a half-hour you’ll be OK, and then you’ll just lose it. It’s kind of hard to sink in.”
From the ashes, they saved two special items they said were irreplaceable.
“The only thing we recovered from this was her father’s urn that was sitting on that mantle, and I found a wrench that my grandpa had, my father had, that had our name, ‘Hankins,’ inscribed on it,” Shaun Hankins said.
hey said they know they will overcome the loss, and they said the support they have received has blown them away.
“That was probably the most touching thing,” he said, “the messages, people showing up, bringing food. Just friends and family helping us out. Now it’s time for the work to start.”
The Hankinses are renting a home nearby and plan to rebuild.
Their friends started them a GoFundMe account:
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