Home sweet home again for Donegans
POLSON — Things are looking up for Lucky and Barbara Donegan.
About a year ago, on April 2, 2013, the Donegan’s house went up in flames, burning all their possessions and leaving them homeless.
On April 2 of this year a crane arrived to set in place a modular home and a shed for the Donegans.
But the year in between has been tough for the Donegans. They’d lived in their Polson home for 28 years. Lucky, 63, an Air Force veteran on disability, fixed computers in the basement and lost all his equipment.
The Donegans had dropped their homeowner’s insurance and were saving that money for a new roof, so there was no insurance money to finance a new house. Plus, they had to pay to remove the charred remains of their home.
The Donegans lived “everywhere from motels to an RV to a house trailer and finally an apartment,” Lucky said, adding that a friend loaned them the RV and the house trailer.
The 14-foot trailer had no running water so the couple had to drive to a store or a gas station to use the bathroom.
“You really have to be friends with your mate to live in a 14-foot trailer,” Lucky said, grinning.
People in Lucky’s neighborhood complained about them living on the property in the motor home so they eventually moved to an apartment.
“I’m just grateful, and so is Barbara, that we didn’t freeze to death,” Lucky said.
The couple was having difficulties securing a home loan until Lucky’s military service disability claim was upped from 50 percent to 70 percent, and became retroactive to 2009.
“The day we found out, Barbara was reading me the court documents from the appellate court,” Lucky said. When she told Lucky the amount, he said, “I forgot how to drive. My mind went blank.”
With the additional income, their loan was approved.
As soon as workers complete ductwork, wiring, plumbing, installing the carpeting and finish hooking up the heat, and the City of Polson issues a certificate of occupancy, the Donegans will move into their new home.
It’s been a long wait, but in a couple of weeks the Donegans will be home.