Philo home that TV show built still attracts attention

PHILO — Nearly four years after "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" built the Montgomery family a new house in Philo, people still occasionally drive by to take a look at it.

Nathan Montgomery said he and his family just take it in stride.

There were only so many of these houses built, after all, and nobody has been overly intrusive, he said.

"For six months to a year, we'd have people driving by and taking pictures. It kind of just comes with the territory," Montgomery added. "The whole experience was such a blessing."

Here's an update on the family since the program aired in 2009:

Nathan Montgomery is still executive director of Salt & Light. His wife, Jenny, is a special education teacher at Homer Elementary School, and their four children are all students in Unit 7 schools.

Son Ashton, 17, will be a senior in the fall, and son Benjamin, who turns 13 on Monday, will be in the eighth grade. Daughter Addy, 9, is going into fourth grade, and daughter Lilly, 8, is going into the third grade.

The home that was built for the family and all the rooms inside are still pretty much exactly as the program designers and builders left them, Nathan Montgomery said.

But since the kids have gotten older, they have begun discussing making some changes.

Right after they moved in, "the kids said it felt like home right away," Montgomery recalled.

For him and his wife, it took "a little longer," he said.

One sad note: Both the family dogs, Rocky and Sampson, have died since the program aired.

Sampson was the large English mastiff that became the subject of much attention because he ran away while staying with relatives during the house build.

Sampson was found and returned the day after the house reveal, but he later developed bone cancer, Montgomery said. Rocky, a pug/Chihuahua mix, later developed severe arthritis.

"We've been dog-less since," he added.

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