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Tinker tornado victim receives keys to new home

Nicholas Henthorn, who works in aircraft hydraulics with the 552nd Commodities Maintenance Squadron, turns the key to his new house in Moore during an April 4 dedication ceremony presented by the Central Oklahoma Habitat for Humanity. Mr. Henthorn's home was destroyed by the May 20 F5 tornado last year. (Air Force photo by Kelly White)

Nicholas Henthorn, who works in aircraft hydraulics with the 552nd Commodities Maintenance Squadron, turns the key to his new house in Moore during an April 4 dedication ceremony presented by the Central Oklahoma Habitat for Humanity. Mr. Henthorn's home was destroyed by the May 20 F5 tornado last year. (Air Force photo by Kelly White)

TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. -- On April 4, a Tinker man received the keys to his new house, thanks to Habitat for Humanity and a host of volunteers.

Nicholas Henthorn, with the 552nd Commodities Maintenance Squadron, lost his home in the F-5 tornado that hit Moore last year. Though he had insurance, and had worked at Tinker the past seven years, Mr. Henthorn needed a loan for a home. After talking with several banks and the Red Cross, he was put in contact with Habitat for Humanity. He qualified for an interest-free loan and, as part of the agreement, volunteered more than 50 hours to working on other Habitat homes.

"Thank God for Habitat for Humanity," Mr. Henthorn said. "I really appreciate everyone and all they have done for me."

On May 20, 2013, Mr. Henthorn and his girlfriend, Summer Neugebauer, just missed the tornado, having left the home at the urging of his grandmother, Hazel Cossey. Their old house didn't have a storm cellar, so the couple got in the car and drove in the opposite direction of the storm. The new home comes equipped with a storm shelter in the garage.

This is the 744th house for Habitat for Humanity and the 10th home built for the May 20 tornado victims, according to Ann Felton Gilliland, chairman of the board of directors for Central Oklahoma Habitat for Humanity.

Americorps volunteers and various sponsors were on hand for the dedication.

The Henthorn family received a Bible for building a home on the foundation of Christ, a welcome mat to welcome friends and family, and other things to help them get settled including the keys to a new home and a new life.