Family Survived Storm, Then Close Call

Lanell Ballard's childhood home was destroyed after an enormous Oak tree fell onto it last fall, knocking it off its foundation. A contractor demolishing the home was burning a pile of debris Thursday when the wind kicked up, spreading the fire, nearly destroying what's become her second home.

"My home was destroyed in Hurricane Rita and we're living here in a FEMA travel trailer," Ballard said. "We've been here six months."

It would have cost the Ballards $85,000 to repair their home, so they applied for a government loan, way back in October, to buy a new one. Until it's approved, Lanell will continue living in the trailer with her husband, daughter, and two grandsons.

"I used to wish I had a travel trailer to go to the lake and stuff, but after staying six months in one, I don't know whether I really want one or not."

The contractor did not get a citation because he has a demolition permit and burning lumber, limbs, and leaves inside the city limits is allowed.