Community helps family of five who lost home in fire

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Feb. 18, 2016) – A family of five is without a home after flames destroyed their home Monday night. Now, the community is coming together to try and help them get back on their feet.

Lanna and Clint Smith were home with their kids when the fire began, but luckily escaped safety. The fire department estimates damages of $300,000, including the family’s two cars.

“We’ve offered help in any way that that they need,” said Mark Lowe who lives right next door. “It’s a total loss, they’ve lost everything.”

Lowe says he is one of many people who have offered to help the Smiths with anything from money to toys.

“They have two little girls and a little boy,” said Lowe. “I asked them and if there was anything they needed and the little boy just wanted some Legos.”

The fire started in the garage and then spread to the rest of the home. Family, friends and colleagues say this could happen to anyone.

“Obviously when a family of five loses everything they own our goal is to immediately get them comfortable,” said Tom Zobel, principal of Whiteland Community High School where Lanna Smith works as a math teacher. “The staff here has been collecting money all week. Students have come up with a lot of ideas as far as collecting clothes, toiletries, those types of things that they’re going to need long term.”

An online website has been set up to receive donations. The kids’ schools and the local township government are also pitching in, hoping to help the Smiths return to some normalcy soon.

“I just hope that everything works out ok for them,” said Lowe. “Hopefully they’ll get to rebuild and be our good neighbors again.”