GoFundMe started for man who lost home, dog in recent fire

Don Dotson with his granddaughter Evie and Heather Invie having a local coffee. Dotson enjoys his coffee white and hot like himself. Photo by Ray Miller-Still

A GoFundMe was created to help a local who lost their home and dog in a recent house fire.

Don Dotson, 70, was one of the many people in Enumclaw who lost power on September 17th when a storm swept the area. Fortunately for him, it was easy to start his generator and go to bed.

Dotson was soundly asleep when his cell phone started ringing at around 12:30 p.m. on September 18.

“I picked up the phone, there was nothing,” he said, remembering some robot voice recitation options to choose from.

Then he noticed that he had no electricity again, although he was filling the generator so that it would run for several hours.

“So I looked into the utility room and saw this big, bright light like a sphere. And the bright light moved left and right towards the kitchen. I thought what the fuck is that? It’s not a power, ”continued Dotson. “So I got up to check the generator, opened the door and bwoosh – just got hit in the face by smoke and fire.”

Dotson escaped quickly, but soon realized that his dog Odie hadn’t made it. At this point, however, the house was too dangerous to re-enter.

“I’m not stupid,” he said in an interview on September 29th. “I was desperate, but not stupid.”

Odie isn’t the first loss Dotson has suffered recently; his wife Maggie also died of various health problems just three months before the fire. The two were high school sweethearts and had been married for 52 years.

“If the phone didn’t ring, I wouldn’t be here now,” he said. “I don’t know if it was luck or my wife, but the phone rang. Never before, never again. ”

The GoFundMe was created just two days after the fire by Heather Invie, who knew the Dotsons in part from Maggie’s workouts at The Garage Fitness on Cole Street, which Invie owns.

In just 10 days, the crowdfunding website raised nearly three-quarters of its $ 20,000 goal.

“I’m not surprised,” Invie said, adding that Don and Maggie were the kind of people who would do anything for neighbors, friends, and strangers. “Now we come full circle.”

Dotson said he was embarrassed to find himself in a position where he had to accept charities, but also said he was very grateful for his community.

“I love Enumclaw … this community is a good community,” the retired police officer continued, adding that he is currently living with his older sibling in Covington. “I love my brother, but my heart is in Enumclaw.”

The money raised through GoFundMe will help Dotson pay bills while he uses his insurance money to build a new home – hopefully on the same lot as before, he said.

But if there is any money left, Dotson continues, he plans to donate it to a local charity to help other local people in need.

To donate to GoFundMe, go to https://www.gofundme.com/f/help-don-who-has-lost-everything-to-fire.

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