MCDOUGLE FAMILY … This lovely family lost their home in a house fire on November 4, 2022. From left to right are Mason, Caleb, dad Don holding baby Silas, and mom Heather holding Jordyn. A form link to support the family appears at the bottom of this article. (PHOTO PROVIDED)
By: Rebecca Miller
“Oh no! How can we help?” is the automatic reaction of friends and strangers alike in Northwest Ohio when news like this is heard.
The outreach of helping hands and hearts is a wonderful benefit to living in this area, as there truly is a sense of community.
Whether someone is known or not does not seem to matter when disaster strikes.
Don and Heather McDougle, whose house in Holgate burnt down on November 4, 2022, have found comfort in the way people have been “coming out of the woodwork, who have donated money to help us, that we don’t even know, as well as anonymous donors.”
One of Heather’s sisters, Jennifer Booth, started a GoFundMe page on Facebook called McDougle Family Fire Recovery Fund. People have also dropped off clothing for their family of six and other items as well.
It was a Friday afternoon, so that meant football for this family whose oldest son, 16-year-old Caleb, is on the Holgate football team.
He and his team were heading to Bowling Green to play against Toledo Christian in the Northern 8 Conference championship game, which Holgate won.
Heather had just dropped him off at school and gone to get Don from work in Napoleon. They were running home to get showers and head to Bowling Green for the game, but when they drove into the yard… the house was in flames!
Don ran into the house to see if he could put it out, but not being able to do that, he grabbed a few pairs of Caleb’s shoes and hauled a very special table made by his grandfather for them out of the house. Meanwhile, Heather was calling the fire department.
Sadly, nothing else was saved. By the time the firefighters brought pictures off the walls out of the house, they were so damaged by smoke and water they were no longer salvageable.
In the midst of the loss of all their belongings, the family is grateful for many things…none of them were home or injured and the fire did not reach the small buildings where they keep their chickens and pigs.
They have family in Napoleon who has taken them in and people have been so caring.
Don and Heather and their four children, Caleb (16), Mason (14) who lives full time with his mother in Bryan, Jordyn (5) and Silas (2), attend church in Archbold, at Turning Point Pentecostal Church.