A story of survival: Detroit father of 4 heats home with fire - New York News

A story of survival: Detroit father of 4 collects wood to heat home with fire

Posted: Updated:
(WJBK) -

He once found work as a butcher and a commercial roofer, but now he walks the streets of Detroit's east side trying to help his loved ones survive. Don, 53, strips wood from abandoned houses and brings it home to provide the only source of light and heat that he can afford - fire.

"The same fire that keeps us warm, feeds us," says Don. They heat water in buckets to clean the pots and pans, and themselves, too.

Don lost his job and now donates plasma twice a week.

"It's honest money, it's fair and it helps," he says. He says he's desperate to find work, but feels like he's already working again.

"It takes like a half a day to find the wood, bring it home, and it takes another half a day to, initially, cut the wood up and then create a fire," he tells Fox 2's Andrea Isom.  

VIDEO: Click on the video player above to hear more of Don's story in the report from Andrea Isom


The youngest child is 10 years old. Don says his kids are doing very well in school and have been resilient despite how they're living right now.

UPDATE: An anonymous donor has offered to pay the utility bills for the family. The heat and lights will soon be restored at the home.

DONATION INFORMATION

Rev. W.J. Rideout will be accepting non-monetary donations, including clothing and firewood, at his All God's People Church Friday through Sunday.

All God's People Church
5201 French Road
Detroit, MI 48213
313-492-5009

Friday, 5-7 p.m.
Saturday, Noon-3 p.m.
Sunday, 11 a.m. - 2 p.m.

CLOTHING SIZES

Female, 10: Sizes 12 for shirt and pants
Male, 14: 31 waist, 30 length, medium shirt
Female, 17: Medium shirt, size 7 bottoms
Female, 20: Medium shirt, size 7 bottoms

If you would like to make a monetary donation to Don and his family you can do so at the account set up on GiveForward.com. The account's goal was to raise $6,000 for the family. That amount was raised in about 90 minutes.


  • Download the FOX 2 Apps


  • FOX 2 News Five-Day Forecast
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • NJ requires students to get CPR lessons

    NJ requires students to get CPR lessons

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 1:52 PM EDT2014-08-20 17:52:46 GMT
    New Jersey high school students will be required to have CPR training starting this year. Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno signed a law Wednesday requiring the lesson for all public and charter school students in ninth through 12th grades. Guadagno is serving as acting governor with Gov. Chris Christie out of the state. It takes effect in the coming school year.
    New Jersey high school students will be required to have CPR training starting this year. Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno signed a law Wednesday requiring the lesson for all public and charter school students in ninth through 12th grades. Guadagno is serving as acting governor with Gov. Chris Christie out of the state. It takes effect in the coming school year.

  • NYC board: clerk traded information for crack

    NYC board: clerk traded information for crack

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 1:31 PM EDT2014-08-20 17:31:59 GMT
    New York City NewsNew York City News
    A former clerk in the Staten Island District Attorney's office was fined $10,000 for offering confidential investigative information for crack. The city's Conflict of Interest Board said Rene Collins exchanged text messages with drug dealer Davon Bishop, offering to tip him off about investigations and upcoming arrests in exchange for two units of crack for her husband.
    A former clerk in the Staten Island District Attorney's office was fined $10,000 for offering confidential investigative information for crack. The city's Conflict of Interest Board said Rene Collins exchanged text messages with drug dealer Davon Bishop, offering to tip him off about investigations and upcoming arrests in exchange for two units of crack for her husband.
  • Prayer service for Atlantic City casinos

    Prayer service for Atlantic City casinos

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 12:28 PM EDT2014-08-20 16:28:08 GMT
    Hundreds of workers who will lose their jobs at three Atlantic City casinos scheduled to close in the next few weeks are looking for some divine intervention. Employees of Revel, the Showboat and Trump Plaza will hold a rally Wednesday night followed by a prayer service at a nearby church.
    Hundreds of workers who will lose their jobs at three Atlantic City casinos scheduled to close in the next few weeks are looking for some divine intervention. Employees of Revel, the Showboat and Trump Plaza will hold a rally Wednesday night followed by a prayer service at a nearby church.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices