Community members gathered on May 6 to collect goods for the Dodge family who’s house caught on fire on May 4. Submitted photo from Amy Harrison White

Community members gathered on May 6 to collect goods for the Dodge family who’s house caught on fire on May 4. Submitted photo from Amy Harrison White

Community rallies together for Maple Valley fire victim

Cause of the fire is accidental due to a malfunction in the fireplace.

After seeing the new movie “Avengers: Endgame” with her kids, Maple Valley resident Kelly Dodge came home to a thing of nightmares.

When she arrived home the evening of May 4, she found firefighters and a whole lot of damage because of a fire that had started in her house while she was gone.

Luckily, no one was home. Her two pets — a cat and dog — were not injured and made it out safely. Puget Sound Regional Fire Authority reports the cause of the fire is accidental due to a malfunction in the fireplace.

In response, Maple Valley residents came together on May 6 to collect donations for the Dodge family.

Maple Valley resident Amy Harrison White came up with the idea to collect donations for the family. She saw a photo of the house fire online and thought the house looked familiar.

“So I just kind of snooped around and found out that it was my friend’s house, and she’s not the kind of person who would reach out for or even willingly accept help,” White said. “She’s very independent and strong and just the kind of person who helps everybody else. She’s helped me a lot personally, so I just kind of wanted to make sure that she was taken care of because she takes care of everybody else.”

White said Dodge would accept donations only for her three kids and their two pets.

By the end of the day, White said they collected over $1,100 worth of gift cards, a trailer full of clothing, dog and cat food/beds, plus people pledging to donate furniture to the Dodge family once they figure out their living situation.

”I didn’t expect it to be quite this big,” White said.

As of press time, Dodge is staying in a hotel covered by her insurance, according to her oldest daughter, Brittany Kjargaard, who does not live with Dodge. The future is still unknown, and the family is unsure how extensive the damage is. But Kjargaard said her mother is grateful for all the community support during this devastating time.

“I’m just so happy that I have a mom a brother and sisters still,” Kjargaard said. “I’m happy to collect stuff, but I am happy that I didn’t wake up to no mom.”

The blaze occurred May 4 in the 25300 block of 236th Court Southeast in Maple Valley. Photo courtesy of Puget Sound Regional Fire Authority.

The blaze occurred May 4 in the 25300 block of 236th Court Southeast in Maple Valley. Photo courtesy of Puget Sound Regional Fire Authority.

The blaze occurred May 4 in the 25300 block of 236th Court Southeast in Maple Valley. Photo courtesy of Puget Sound Regional Fire Authority.

The blaze occurred May 4 in the 25300 block of 236th Court Southeast in Maple Valley. Photo courtesy of Puget Sound Regional Fire Authority.

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