SHAWNEE, Okla. (KFOR) – A blind man in Shawnee lost everything after last week’s tornadoes ripped through his home. His neighbors had to break the news.
The neighbors were riding out the storm inside Doug Tingler’s storm shelter. When it was over, a neighbor then had to explain to his blind neighbor what happened.
“It was a pretty intimidating noise… The first thing my neighbor said was, ‘Your house is gone,’” said Tingler, homeowner affected by Shawnee tornado.
“I said, ‘Doug, brother, I’m sorry, my friend. Your house pretty much gone,’” said Pat Kelly, neighbor.
Doug Tingler is blind.
His neighbors came together in a time of chaos, and they all rushed into Doug’s storm shelter.
“It’s a two-way street, you know. He said, ‘Well, thanks for saving my life.’ And I said, ‘Thanks for saving ours,’” said Kelly.
“I’m just so grateful that I didn’t have to go down there by myself. I would have. But I didn’t have to because I have good neighbors,” said Tingler.
Tingler remembering the moment his neighbor held his hand.
“The lady next door was nice enough to hold my hand. It was pretty scary,” said Tingler.
“I was scared to death. I was holding him more than he was,” said Roberta Kelly, neighbor.
Doug only knows what’s been described to him and said he hasn’t touched the home because it would make it all too real.
“I’m going to at least touch it once and say goodbye and take one of the bricks home with me. But yeah, I don’t really want the experience of going in there. It sounds pretty scary from the descriptions I’ve heard,” said Tingler.
Tingler has been staying positive during such a devastating time.
“This restored some of my faith in humanity that maybe there is a hope for us because people have to help each other. That’s our only hope… I’m proud to be an Oklahoman because of the people. I’m proud of this. That’s corny, but it’s true,” said Tingler.
Tingler told KFOR he plans on possibly rebuilding a home on the same property because he wants to stay close to such good neighbors.
He also said he has good insurance, and he will officially say goodbye to the home before they take it away in the next couple of weeks.