13-year-old boy dies in Wagoner Co. house fire


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Updated: 6/16/2013 9:36 pm Published: 6/16/2013 2:33 pm


A teenage boy trapped and rescued in a burning home died. It happened in Coweta near 131st and South 267th East Avenue in Wagoner County Sunday morning.

A family of six lived in the home. Family confirms with FOX23 News Cody Shanks, the boy, 13, died in the fire.

Investigators confirm with FOX23 News they are following up on tips that could reveal the cause of the fire.

His grandmother was in the home sleeping with her grandson when the fire started in the home.

"We heard a big pop, explosion, and immediately there were flames shooting out the hallway," said Teresa McMillen.

She says she was watching over Cody after he was going through a diabetic attack.

"I was in the room with Cody, and I came down the hall and grabbed him and I thought he came with me," said McMillen.

She then got her 73-year-old mother out and her brother and son, and her 70-year-old father out of the house. She says both of her parents have medical conditions so she takes care of them too.

When they all escaped the fire, they noticed Cody was not there.

"We were doing a headcount and I told Fred where is Cody and he said I can't find him and got on the scaffolding outside Cody's room and broke the window and was hollering at him and he said he couldn't hear him anymore," said McMillen.

She thinks her 13-year-old grandson turned around.

"I think he panicked because the smoke was so bad at the time," said McMillen.

Coweta, Porter, Tullahassee and Red Bird fire departments swarmed the scene.

"They did everything they could. They risked their life to go in there to get him out," said McMillen.

However, she lost her grandson who was getting ready to go into the eighth grade.

"A 13-year-old boy and had a full life ahead of him," said McMillen.

She says he liked to fish, play video games and music, but now most of the family's memorials are a pile of ash except a picture of Cody.

On the wall in the Ham radio office you see the outline of the picture frames.

"His picture is untouched,” said the grandmother. "He was 3, it was taken on his third birthday."

She found Cody's marbles under the brick rubble that fell out of a tackle box.

"It's hard to let them go. It's something to hold onto," said McMillen. "We are going to take it a day at a time. And everything will be in his memory."

Cody was dedicated to raising awareness about juvenile diabetes. He'd been living with the disease since he was age 8. The Coweta American posted an article in October, 2012, about his efforts to raise money for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Walk.

Since he was about to turn 13, he and his family put out buckets across town to raise $1,300. His grandmother says he came close to reaching his goal.

The family's three dogs and two cats survived. One cat is missing.

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