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Calhoun County man looks for closure after a fire destroyed his family's home

By Sara Sneath
Aug. 18, 2014 at 5:42 p.m.
Updated Aug. 18, 2014 at 10:46 p.m.

Shane Dunagan wipes his brow in the hot, humid afternoon outside of his mobile home that caught fire Sunday night in the community of Six Mile near Port Lavaca. The entire contents of the home were destroyed, leaving Dunagan to worry about his future without a home or possessions.

PORT LAVACA — Shane Dunagan dug through burned, wet insulation in search of his daughter's prized possession, a coin purse she earned from cleaning the house.

"I know it's dumb," he said. "But it's all she's got,"

Slightly before 8 p.m. Sunday, while waiting for his 7-year-old daughter to be dropped off by her mom, Dunagan saw smoke coming from his bedroom. He attempted to open the door, but it wouldn't budge.

Dunagan ran out of the house and called 911. The Port Lavaca Fire Department arrived within five to 10 minutes, he said.

The fire was contained in about 30 minutes, Capt. Boyd Staloch with the Port Lavaca Fire Department said Monday. But the three-bedroom mobile home was destroyed — the electronics melted, there was a gaping hole in the side of the house and burned, wet insulation covered the floor.

About 50 percent of the home, in the 100 block of Bobby Lane in the Six Mile community, sustained fire damage, and heavy smoke damaged the rest of the structure.

Dunagan believes the fire started from a candle burning in the bathroom attached to his bedroom.

"That's the only thing that could have started the fire," he said.

The Port Lavaca Fire Department is still investigating the cause of the fire, Staloch said.

Dunagan has been picking up the burned pieces of his home since Sunday, trying to put it all back together one step at a time. His biggest concern is replacing the school clothes and supplies for his 17-year-old son and 7-year-old daughter.

He is staying with his brother and has the next couple days off from his job at Formosa to try to figure out what to do next.

"I don't know what to do for my kids," Dunagan said Monday.

Community members have already started to rally support. The Red Cross is also helping the family.

"There's already people calling. I had to turn my phone off because I was getting so many calls. It's amazing," he said.

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