Church accepting donations to assist Hammond fire victims

2012-06-14T13:45:00Z 2012-08-03T16:32:38Z Church accepting donations to assist Hammond fire victimsBy Lauri Harvey Keagle lauri.keagle@nwi.com, (219) 852-4311 nwitimes.com

HAMMOND | A Hammond church has established a fund for a family who lost its home to fire earlier this year.

Greater Grace Church is accepting funds for the McCullough family through the fund established at Chase bank.

On April 15, Chanel and Louis McCullough were asleep in their home at 916 Spruce St. in Hammond when they awoke to their 11-year-old daughter's screams about a fire. Louis McCullough got his wife, Chanel, and the couple's three children ranging in age from 3 to 17 out of the home safely. A 13-year-old cousin and friend visiting from out out town also made it out, but Louis McCullough could not get to his 12-year-old son.

The father, wearing only his underwear, walked through the flames barefoot to rescue his sleeping son while his 17-year-old son broke an exterior window to free them from the burning home.

All escaped with only minor injuries. The family was uninsured and Louis McCullough was out of work when the fire struck.

Two weeks later, a series of misunderstandings led to police shooting McCullough's dog shortly after she gave birth. Neighbors saw Louis going into the garage at his Spruce Street home and thinking he was a prowler, called police.The dog lunged and growled at the officer, who fired one shot at the animal. The dog died later that day at a veterinarian's office.

On Thursday, Louis McCullough said things are "getting back to normal." Contractors are working to make their home inhabitable again and the children were able to finish out the year at their schools.

"I'm just thankful to God for our lives," he said.

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