Even though their Cut Bank home was destroyed by fire, smoke and water damage, and they lost their four family pets, Chad and Rachel Dosch are counting their blessings this Christmas. “We really just can’t thank this community and emergency services enough. You all have no idea what this means to us to have so many calls, texts, and visits,” said Rachel on Monday, Dec. 20.
Rachel, Chad and their two-year-old daughter, Chevelle, were visiting family at Lake Blaine for the weekend. Larry Schwindt, a family friend, was checking on their house and two dogs and two cats while they were gone. When the friend opened the door to their house on Sunday morning, he was met by the smoke and heat from the fire and the alarms going off, said Rachel. It was shortly after 8:30 a.m. when he called 911. He then set out franticly searching for the animals until the heat and smoke forced him out.
The Cut Bank Volunteer Fire Department arrived and extinguished the fire, but by the time they located the two dogs and two cats, they had died from smoke inhalation. The fire is believed to have started sometime between Saturday night and Sunday morning.
“We arrived a couple hours after the fire was reported and found many friends, neighbors, and co-workers helping manage the situation and getting our daughter’s clothes cleaned. At this time, Chevelle has clean clothes, and we should be able to save toys and books for her. We are trying to see what clothes of ours we can save. Christmas gifts, for the most part, were saved,” she added.
Cut Bank Volunteer Fire Chief Jimmy Littrell said the fire started in the kitchen area and smoldered for several hours before firemen were called to the scene. Littrell said since there is no indication of foul play, the fire marshal isn’t called in to investigate the cause of the fire.
“We’re not sure what time the fire started or how long it was burning,” said Rachel. The fire “was mostly contained in the kitchen. The smoke, heat and water damage took over the entire upstairs. The basement has smoke and water damage throughout,” she added.
Schwindt started a GoFundMe account for the young family on Sunday and by press time donations had reached nearly $7,000. “This community is amazing. I don’t think people realize how much a town the size of Cut Bank will rally around good people when they need it,” said Larry.
The Dosch family is extremely grateful this Christmas. “We want to thank everyone who has helped and offered assistance for our family. We especially want to thank Cut Bank Volunteer Fire Department, Cut Bank Police Department, Border Patrol, Glacier County Sheriff’s Office, Northern Veterinary Clinic and our countless neighbors and friends,” expressed Rachel.
“The worst part of it all was the loss of our fur babies, Iyarok, Diesel (their dogs), Pez and Persephone (their cats). These animals helped us through some of the toughest times in our lives and will always be a part of our family and in our hearts,” shared Rachel.
To donate to the Dosch Family GoFundMe account, go to:
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