Family Loses Home Once To Katrina, Now Again To Fire

A Hancock County family has been dealt a double dose of heartache from disasters. First hurricane Katrina dumped six feet of water into their home. Then Wednesday morning, with repairs on the home almost compete, fire wiped it all out.

"There is nothing I can say. It's gone," homeowner Dan Ransel said.

Ransel could only watch as firefighters tried to douse the flames that devoured his home on Texas Flat Road.

"There's nothing I can really say to cover what I'm feeling right now."

He was just days away from finishing repairs from Hurricane Katrina.

"I had six feet of water, so I gutted everything out. I had had about four holes in the roof, trees had blown into it. We didn't have any furniture left, so we didn't have anything in there."

After the storm, Ransel sent his wife and three children to Florida. He took a job clearing debris because his lawn care business was gone. And he went to work getting the family home livable again.

"All I had to do is finish floating it and painting it. I just finished doing the sheet rock last night. The Hope Foundation donated all the insulation and stuff and some labor to help me put it back together."

Katrina washed away everything inside. Fire dealt a different destructive blow. Ransel says there's no building back this time.

"I'll put a different structure there. No need of saving this. I haven't walked in, but it's pretty much gone. I just have to start all over again."

The official cause of the fire is still being investigated but Ransel believes it had something to do with his hot water heater because he says that's the area where the fire started.

by Al Showers