Social media push helps raise money for Denton house fire victims

By Lori Brown

Social media is now playing a big role when people face disasters.

Over the weekend, a Denton couple lost all of their possessions in a house fire.

It seems that even faster than the flames that took over the home, word of their tragedy spread quickly on social media.

Friends set up an online fundraising account, and in just two days, the page has raised more than $16,000 –- just shy of their $20,000 goal.

The fire happened at 10:45 p.m. on the Fourth of July. Lucas Eagleton and Chellas Fillingim were away, but their two dogs and cat were at home and didn’t make it out.

The couple’s friend in Washington posted a simple picture and a couple of paragraphs about the fire that burned their belongings and worse, killed their two dogs and cat.

In just 24 hours, $10,000 was raised, and by Monday afternoon, the donations climbed to more than $16,000, with hundreds of people giving about $50 on average.

FOX 4 tracked down one of the donors. He works at a healthcare management company a half an hour away in Frisco.

He’s never met the couple, but wanted to help anyway.

“They lost everything,” said donor Trent Barton. “Today their home is gone. All their possessions. Gone. And I woke up in a comfortable bed in a home with a loving family, and I am living."

Barton knows the power of people helping people, and even strangers.

“They came in day eight of my cancer and said, ‘I don't think we can turn this around,’” said Barton. “I said, ‘You don't my God; you don't know Trent Baron. Let's go.’”

Barton just survived his first year free of brain cancer.

“People I still don't know came by with meals,” said Barton. “They just did that.”

The word about the couple got to Barton through his colleague. She heard about the family’s need through a friend of a friend on social media.

“It spread like wildfire,” said donor Romana Davis. “Every time I refreshed, someone else had shared it."

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