San Antonio teachers left homeless after devastating fire

Lane Harris, a former teacher at Highlands, and his wife, Shirley, a Head Start teacher at the Madonna Center, are determined to rebuild on their original property in San Antonio. Their dream home, which they moved into in 2016, was tragically consumed by flames on September 8. Undeterred by the devastation, the resilient couple is now on a mission to rebuild and start anew.

As the flames engulfed their home, Shirley Harris was at work while Lane Harris was dozing off at their computer. Suddenly, Lane woke up to the acrid smell of smoke, initially thinking it was just a neighbor barbecuing nearby. However, when he opened the front door, he was met with a shocking sight. One of the columns on their front porch was ablaze, and his attempts to put out the fire were futile due to a hole in the hose.

It felt like an eternity for Lane as he anxiously awaited the arrival of the fire crews. Devastated, he stood helplessly and watched as his home succumbed to the flames. It took four and a half minutes for the firefighters to reach the scene, during which Lane made valiant efforts to salvage his wallet and a few precious belongings. Unfortunately, the fire had caused severe damage, including burning off the wheels of Lane’s walker.

Meanwhile, Shirley was desperately trying to reach her husband, fearing for his safety. Her neighbor sent her a picture of their burning home, and Shirley’s heart sank. She burst into tears, overwhelmed by thoughts of whether Lane had managed to escape unharmed.

Tragically, cherished keepsakes that held immense sentimental value were lost forever. Lane lamented the loss of a rare family photograph, the only one they had of his great-great grandmother, who was born during slavery. Additionally, Shirley’s porcelain doll collection and Lane’s beloved handmade train collection, which brought joy to their grandchildren, were reduced to mere memories.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation, according to Joshua Everetts, the fire captain for Bexar County ESD 11. The Harris’ house was deemed a total loss. However, amidst the devastation, one thing remained untouched—a simple iron cross hanging in the kitchen. Shirley finds solace in this symbol of faith, believing it is a sign that God will guide and support them as they embark on the challenging journey of rebuilding their lives.

Currently, the Harris family is awaiting the examination of the home’s interior by insurance officials to determine the necessary steps for moving forward. The initial examination of the exterior has already taken place. Until the insurance assessment is complete, the Harrises are unable to receive any funds for temporary accommodations. Thankfully, they have found refuge with nearby family members.

Recognizing the hardships faced by the Harrises, a GoFundMe page has been established to aid in their rebuilding efforts. Lane remains hopeful that the insurance company will provide the necessary funds to help them rebuild their dream home. Shirley echoes this sentiment, emphasizing that their previous home held immense sentimental value and was a place where their dreams could thrive.

Amidst the turmoil and loss, Lane and Shirley Harris cling to each other and their faith as they forge a path forward. They may have lost their physical home, but the indomitable spirit of these educators will undoubtedly guide them towards a brighter future.

Related Articles

Back to top button