Two Comeaux High brothers find hope after losing everything in h - KATC.com | Continuous News Coverage | Acadiana-Lafayette

Two Comeaux High brothers find hope after losing everything in house fire

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Two Comeaux High School basketball players, Jaelon LaGard and Ferontay Banks, lost everything they have ever known and owned in a house fire in January. Despite the tragedy striking the brothers, they continue to find hope on the basketball court. 

"It was hard at first, but my family made me realize that was all material things that I lost. Life isn't; you cant get life back," Jaelon said. 

Jaelon and Banks share a special bond. Jaelon's family took Banks in last fall, and the two aren't blood-related, but no one can tell them they aren't brothers. 

"it's amazing; I feel like we're real blood," Banks said. 

In January, Banks woke up to learn their house was on fire, and the two say that moment changed their lives forever. 

"We were sleeping, and I was in the bed, and I was wondering why I was getting so hot. So, I turned and looked left, and I saw the fire, and it was close to my head. So, I kicked [Jaelon] and woke him up, and I was like, 'Jay, there is a fire!'" Banks said. 

Soon after the fire, the family escaped the home with nothing but the clothes on their backs. 

Lionel LaGard, the father of the boys, said this process has been a hard pill to swallow. 

"It's been rough. Our Lady of Lourdes [Regional Medical Center] put us up in a hotel for two weeks, and we got help from Red Cross, and now, we are staying with a family friend," Lionel said. 

Lionel also said losing his home was only half of the struggle. The hardest part is watching his sons hurt.

"Trying to keep the kids sane due to the fact that they lost everything, it's hard for a young person to go through that. And all I could tell them was [to] be strong and keep the faith; we have each other. We can replace everything else," Lionel said. 

Little did the family know, they had more than just the help of each other. The Comeaux High basketball team stepped up to help their teammates. One player, Cameron Kuhn, even started a GoFundMe account. 

"This is my first year at Comeaux, my first and last year. I'm a senior. Whenever I made the basketball team, they let me in with open arms, and I could just tell that it's a brotherhood we've got going on. And, I kind of felt that it kind of hit me... they would do this for me, so why don't I do this for them?" Kuhn said. 

Comeaux High basketball coach Jeremy Whittington said his players are family to him, and he just wants to see the boys get the help they need. 

"Both of those kids will not come into the gym without shaking my hand and will not leave without shaking my hand. That's just the type of kids they are. So just knowing that about both of them, that these are good kids, we got to figure out how to help this family, and that was my immediate reaction," Whittington said. 
If you would like to help the family, you can make donations here. All other donations can be dropped off at Comeaux High School at the attention of Jeremy Whittington. 

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