While having a relaxing game night at their home, the Dodge family quickly found themselves leaving the house after the upper level was engulfed in flames within minutes.
Michael Dodge said everything in the home burned in the fire on Nov. 9. The home, located on Farnum Drive, was a total loss, Dodge said. Both the home and its contents were insured.
A total of 10 people were in the home at the time of the fire, including Dodge’s wife, two daughters, and a few other friends. His stepdaughter’s boyfriend went upstairs while the group played a game downstairs. He quickly returned saying that the house was on fire.
The upstairs deck, which was about 15 feet by 10 feet, was entirely engulfed in flames.
“About two minutes after that as we’re panicking trying to figure out what we’re going to do, (the fire) broke the bay window that overlooked our deck kind of looking at Billings,” Dodge said. “It immediately came into the home and it really took about five minutes from that point on to take the entire upper floor.”
After getting everyone out of the home, Dodge called 911 around 12:30 a.m. that morning. The Lockwood Fire Department and the Billings Fire Department responded shortly after. Information about what started the fire was not available from the Lockwood Fire Department Friday evening.
Now, the family is renting a home from a friend and plans to rebuild a new house if the foundation is intact, Dodge said. The family lived in the home for almost four years.
Dodge said that building is estimated to cost around $250,000, but plans to talk to local contractors in the coming weeks.
A benefit will be held Saturday, Nov. 23, at America Family Restaurant and will feature local DJs and live entertainment. Dodge said his family would be grateful for donations, but also wants the opportunity to thank those who have shown support. Music will start at 6 p.m., until 2 a.m. Kids are allowed in the restaurant until 9 p.m. The event is free for everyone who attends.
Business partners with Foundation Entertainment are hosting the event, of which Dodge is the founder.
Performances will feature local artists including, Blake from the Lake, Jackson Blue, Beautiful Existence, Wr!nse, Noizeputty, Subvasive, and ET3.
A GoFundMe page was set up to support the family and has raised over $2,000. Dodge said he’s grateful for all the support from relatives, friends and community members who have donated as well.
“We probably have more clothes now than when the house burned down,” Dodge said. “Everybody has donated so much stuff and my daughter has a heap of toys again. That’s the emotionally overwhelming part is just how people who I haven’t talked to in 10 years just come out of the woodwork to show how much they still care.”
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