While the smoke is still smoldering at the Don and Kelsey Adams home on H Street in Aurora efforts to raise funds and support for the family have already begun.
Brent Dethlefs, a captain with the city’s fire-based ambulance department, reported late Tuesday afternoon that local residents have already begun reaching out to offer support for a family in need. An early morning fire gutted the Adams home, with firefighters from Aurora and Hampton battling the blaze until mid-morning. No injuries were reported, either by the family or firefighters battling bitter cold temperatures throughout the day, though the house sustained heavy damage. Don, or DJ as he is known by the crew, is a paramedic firefighter for the Aurora Fire Department.
“I think they lost just about everything,” Dethlefs said, adding that some of DJ and Kelsey’s clothing in the basement may be salvaged. “As for the kids, they lost everything, clothes, toys, book bags …”
The Adams have four children, three girls and a boy, ranging in age from 4 to 9. Kelsey was out of state when the fire broke out early Tuesday morning and is en route home.
Dethlefs said the community’s generosity began to show almost immediately.
“I had a gal come to the fire station and handed me two checks made out to DJ,” he said. “We’ve had a lot of response so far, a lot of support, and as of right now I know we’re taking donations at the station. We’re going to keep everything there until they get a house to rent or something.”
Dethlefs said he spoke with Aurora Fire Chief Tom Cox, and the two agreed that a community fundraiser will be planned in the weeks ahead to benefit the Adams family.
“The employees in the EMS division are going to try and do a fundraiser, probably in a couple of weeks after it warms up,” he said. “Whether it’s like a hamburger feed where you drop things by we’re not sure yet, but we’ll be getting those plans out once we know the details.”
The News-Register will share more information on the fire and future fundraisers as it becomes available.
UPDATE: The Aurora Fire Department has established a Don and Kelsey Adams benefit account at Cornerstone Bank that they welcome community members to donate to. Funds will go to assist the family who lost their home in a fire on Tuesday, Feb. 9. Aurora Fire and Rescue crew member Matt Hedge explained that people can drop off monetary donations at the bank.
"We had some people asking for other ways to give back to them," he said. "This way they don't have to worry about if we are at the fire department or anything like that."
He continued, noting that the fire department has talked with Don and that he has expressed his appreciation for the outreach and support from the community, something the fire department appreciates as well.