AVALON — As the roof collapsed, area firefighters continued working to save the home of Josh and Trish Dodds on Wednesday, but the fire was too great. Members of the community are now working to help the family of four during this difficult time.
Firefighters were dispatched to the call of a structure fire at about 11:30 a.m. in the 1000 block of Feaster Road in Avalon.
“We got on scene to a structure fire and there was heavy smoke. It quickly turned into a fully engulfed structure. Once the structure became too heavily involved and the roof started caving in, I pulled the crews out and went into defensive mode,” Avalon Assistant Fire Chief Mark Alaniz said. “We were unable to save it. The whole structure was lost.”
Alaniz said operations were hampered due to the ground being saturated from the recent rains, which made it difficult for vehicles to access points on the property. Providing assistance on the call were members of the Bardwell, Forreston, Italy and Emergency Services District 6 Volunteer Fire Departments. The Dodds were was not at the house at the time of the fire and firefighters reported no injuries.
The cause of the fire is under investigation by Ellis County Fire Marshal Tim Birdwell.
Neva Del Bosque, who is the Director of Special Programs and a school counselor for the Avalon Independent School District, said when the district heard about the fire the first question that came to mind was "how can we help." The Dodds' two sons, Blake and Bryan are both students in the district.
“When we heard about it, our first thought was 'what can we do.' That is how we have always been anytime something comes up. We had another family affected last week by a medical issue. It's what can we do and what do they need,” Del Bosque said. “We call ourselves a family and that is how we react. What do they need in the immediate and long term?
"We just don’t put a band-aid on it because it is not over in a single day or in a week. It is something long term that affects them. That is what family is all about. You take care of each other the best way that you can. We will see them through this as much as we can. We will follow their lead.”
The proceeds from district’s Christmas Carnival will be spilt between the Dodds and the Presnall families. Scott Presnall is a teacher with the district and his wife, Cheryl, will be undergoing alternative cancer treatment starting Dec. 18 in Mexico.
The carnival will feature a spaghetti dinner, games, pictures with Santa Claus, a raffle, a basketball shootout tournament and a bounce house for the children. The spaghetti dinner is $5 for adults and $3 for children in the fifth grade and below. Activities and games each have their own separate price.
The district is also collecting clothing, monetary donations and gift cards, which can be dropped off at Avalon High School. Avalon High School is located at 104 Farm-to-Market 55 in Avalon. Clothing sizes for Blake are a medium shirt; pants 33/34; nine and a half boot. Bryan's sizes are a large shirt; pants 33/36 and size 12 shoe. Trish's sizes are a large shirt; pants size 12 and eight and a half in shoes. Josh's sizes are a large shirt; pants 30/38 and nine and a half in boots.
Monetary donations can be made at Prosperity Bank in Ennis, which is located at 207 S. Clay St. through an account that has been set up. Also, donations can be made online through a Go Fund Me account at www.gofundme.com/trish-and-josh-dodds-family. As of Thursday afternoon, the account had raised $3,840 of its $10,000 goal.
Trish Dobbs expressed through her personal Facebook page how thankful of the support her family has received during this time.
“I just want to tell everyone 'thank you' for your prayers, help, kind words and mostly for instilling my faith in good people as we are surrounded by many,” Trish wrote. “I will get back on here, later on, I just have no other words or how to express how I am feeling other than very, very blessed. I love you all and again from the bottom of our hearts Thank You!”
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