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>>

  • Deadly crash in Lincoln Tunnel

    Deadly crash in Lincoln Tunnel

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 8:15 PM EDT2014-09-03 00:15:54 GMT

    Officials say a New Jersey man has died from injuries he suffered in a chain-reaction crash inside one of the tubes of the Lincoln Tunnel.  Port Authority of New York and New Jersey police spokesman Joe Pentangelo says the 49-year-old Summit resident was among three people hurt in the accident.


    Officials say a New Jersey man has died from injuries he suffered in a chain-reaction crash inside one of the tubes of the Lincoln Tunnel.  Port Authority of New York and New Jersey police spokesman Joe Pentangelo says the 49-year-old Summit resident was among three people hurt in the accident.



  • CEO resigns Conn. company over dog abuse

    CEO resigns Conn. company over dog abuse

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 7:05 PM EDT2014-09-02 23:05:35 GMT
    Sports catering business Centerplate has announced that its chief executive has resigned following widespread criticism over images from an elevator security camera showing he kicked a friend's dog and pulled...
    Sports catering business Centerplate has announced that its chief executive has resigned following widespread criticism over images from an elevator security camera showing he kicked a friend's dog and pulled hard on...
  • Subway bedbug infestations on the rise

    Subway bedbug infestations on the rise

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 6:32 PM EDT2014-09-02 22:32:13 GMT
    It appears the subway bedbug problem we've been reporting is getting worse. Commuters already have to contend with sweltering platforms, scurrying rats and packed train cars, and now there's another transit woe: fear of bedbugs.
    It appears the subway bedbug problem we've been reporting is getting worse. Commuters already have to contend with sweltering platforms, scurrying rats and packed train cars, and now there's another transit woe: fear of bedbugs.
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