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Among the piles of bedding and clothing, a 25-pound bag of flour wins as the most unusual donation Lockwood Schools received Thursday. 

The school called for people to drop off anything they could spare for Cloud and Alex Wiley and their six kids who lost their home in a fire Monday. 

The Wileys made it out of the fire unharmed, which Alex Wiley credited to the family dogs who woke the family and alerted them to the danger.

Lockwood Schools began calling for donations the day of the fire, and DeeAnn Nielsen, assistant business manager for Lockwood Schools, said the response has overwhelmed the family. 

Lockwood Schools Superintendent Tobin Novasio, Nielsen and Nielsen's 15-year-old daughter Addie, were among the Lockwood students and faculty who loaded the donations into one of the school's pickups on Thursday. Addie had already donated a couple bags of clothes for the Wileys' daughters.

The phones in the Lockwood Schools Administration building were ringing all day with people asking how to help and promising gift cards and cash donations, Nielsen said.

"It just shows that even when the bad things in life happen, people show so much humanity," Nielsen said.

Lifetouch, a Billings portrait studio that handles all of the Lockwood school photos, reached out to the school and said it was searching its archives for photos of the Wiley kids. The business said they would replace the pictures free of charge.

Working Person's Store, based out of Indiana, made a donation of fire-resistant pants and shirts to Cloud Wiley so he would have something to go to work in. They are also sending scrubs for Alex Wiley, who works at Billings Clinic, and threw some socks into the package for good measure.

Company CEO Eric Deniger said he has a Google alert set up on his computer for fire-resistant apparel so he can get news on the topic. He'd never seen someone asking for the apparel as a donation.

"A lot of guys can't go to work without this stuff," Deniger said.

He said fire-resistant clothing normally is about double the cost of regular pants and shirts. He said he couldn't imagine losing all that gear.

"Sending some pants was the least we could do compared to what was lost," Deniger said. 

The public and government affairs manager for the ExxonMobil Billings refinery, Dan Carter, also reached out to the Lockwood schools and asked what Exxon could do to help. The company is waiting for when the family finds "a place to land" so they can help them with some of the larger furniture items they might need, Carter said.

Cloud Wiley works for one of ExxonMobil's contractors, but Carter said ExxonMobil likes to support not just its employees, but the communities they operate in.

"You never hear of that, a family of eight losing so much, except maybe in a tornado," Carter said. "You just think, what's the right thing to do?"

When the family does buy beds, the Little Ladies Guild of the Chapel of Hope told the school to pass along the bed sizes. They said they want to make individual quilts for everyone in the family. 

"It really just shows what amazing community we have here," Nielsen said. 

Jocelyn Alberts, who married into the Wiley family, said Cloud and Alex Wiley and their six kids are staying with Alex Wiley's sister and that they don't know what their next move will be. The basement of the Wiley home was still accessible after the fire, but there was severe water damage to everything not burned up.

The fire was sparked by the house's electrical box and was quick to spread through the house, Alberts said. 

Alberts contacted friends at local radio stations, and a radio broadcast was scheduled for Thursday to call for anything people can spare. She also contacted businesses in her hometown, Bridger. Some residents are sending out donation jars for the family. 

"I had someone call me and see if they needed a couch," Alberts said. 

The family has asked for clothes for their kids, including everyday pants and shoes the kids can wear. The family could also use school supplies in the coming weeks. 

In addition to the Lockwood Schools, the family has a GoFundMe page so people can make direct donations. People can also drop donations off at 1524 Chesapeake Lane in Billings.

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