Family Returns Home Months After Destructive Storm

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

It's been a long haul for the Shades family of Ambler, Montgomery County. A very long haul, but the Shades are finally home again.

"We watched our life end in a sense because there were 50 some years of memories here and it was gone in an instant," said John Shade.

Gone when a ferocious July storm uprooted this enormous tree and sent it crashing into Shade's home. Neighbors rescued his wife and 82-year-old mother, whose leg was badly injured by branches.

"I know what it feels like to walk out with just the clothes you have on your back. It's an awful feeling. You just think everything is gone," said Elizabeth Shade.

The house and most of what was inside were gone. The Shades were left looking for a way to rebuild. The demolition process proved to be complicated and expensive.

"The cost far exceeded what the policy gave them, so I knew we had a problem," said insurance agent Alan Van Horn.

As the Shade's insurance agent looked for a contractor, he spoke to Paone Builders. When they heard the story, they offered to cover the expenses that the insurance wouldn't.

"We were lucky enough they trusted us enough to get the plans done, design the house and go forward," said Sal Paone Jr.

Nine months later, the Shades have a new home.

"It's wonderful. I even have my bed and bath on the first floor so I don't have to do steps," said Elizabeth.

"I love it. Still getting used to it, you know, walk into walls. You get up in the middle of the night and you go the way you thought you'd go," said John.

Getting used to the new home has been made a little easier by some things the Shades were able to salvage like a fireplace mantle and a dining room cabinet now standing in their kitchen. But the Shade's says it is being together that has helped make the new house into a true home.

(Copyright 2007 by Action News and 6abc. All Rights Reserved.)

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