NEWS

Family left homeless by fire

PAT FRIDGEN
Sharon Dodson and her children, with the help of family and friends, pick through the items they retrieved from their home, which was destroyed by fire Sunday. No one was injured but several pets died.

A family of four watched their home go up in flames Sunday afternoon. Sandra Dodson, 38, and her children, Jerica Summers, 19, Dillin Summers, 16, and Angel Hovermale, 13, were outside after having already enjoyed Easter dinner.

Dillin started to go inside at approximately 3:30 and when he opened the front door at 15673 S. Young Road, Lot 25, the house was already full of smoke. Fire was in the living room wall and no one was sure how it started.

Ten fire departments responded to the call in the State Line Mobile Home Park. While the fire destroyed Dodson’s home of six years, the firefighters were able to prevent it from spreading to the neighboring properties.

Monday the family and friends spent the day going through their belongings.

“Everything is lost,” said Dodson. “We’re trying to salvage what we can.”

They had found her high school diploma and that of Jerica, who graduated from Greencastle-Antrim High School in 2009. Her siblings are currently a sophomore and seventh-grader in the local schools.

They planned to wash the rescued clothing to see if it would be wearable. They also found baby pictures.

“The kids are having a hard time,” Dodson continued. “They lost animals.”

A ferret, a cat and two birds perished but to everyone’s surprise, two turtles survived.

The family had no homeowner’s insurance. They were given three nights’ lodging at the Days Inn in Chambersburg by the American Red Cross. After that, “We’re not sure yet,” Dodson said. “We’re looking.”

The four have talked about how everything happens for a reason, and are trying to understand this one.

Dodson had one solace. “My kids are safe.”

Greencastle Rescue Hose Company was on the scene for about three hours. A fire marshall is investigating the cause of the fire.