Fire survivors celebrate new home

February 12, 2006|By MARLO BARNHART


It was a bittersweet occasion Saturday for David and Donna Sue Dorsey and their three children.

While celebrating their entry into a new home just one year after their previous residence burned to the ground, they took time out to hold a brief memorial service for their tenant, Carol Bank, who perished in that four-alarm blaze.

On Feb. 24, more than two weeks after the Feb. 6, 2005, fire, Bank's remains were found in the debris of the modified barn home.

"Carol was a good-hearted person," said Donna Dorsey of the woman who was a tenant and family friend for three years. "We want her to know we loved her."


After a reading of the 23rd Psalm and songs performed by the Rev. Jim Stauffer of Paramount Brethren in Christ Church, Donna and David Dorsey read a paraphrase of 1 Corinthians 13, which speaks of the importance of home and family, but most of all, love.

Just before midnight on the night of the fire, the Dorseys all were asleep after watching the Super Bowl on television together.

"We were awakened by the sound of our other tenant, Mr. Billy (Nguyen), screaming our names," Donna Dorsey said.

Seeing the flames, the Dorseys woke their three children, grabbed a blanket and some clothes, and ran out the other end of the house to safety.

"I put the children in the tack room out back and told them to stay there," Donna Dorsey said.

Discovering that their telephone was dead, she ran next door to the neighbors and yelled for them to call 911.

Nguyen also had run across the road to have those neighbors alert authorities. He also was uninjured.

The Dorseys and others then searched outside the house, but couldn't find Bank anywhere.

"We all prayed that night for Miss Carol," Donna Dorsey said.

For a while, there was hope she hadn't been home when the fire broke out, but her body was found 18 days later.

"We moved in with friends for five months, and then for the past seven months, all five of us lived in a travel trailer out back," Donna Dorsey said. "We broke ground for the new house on May 5."

About a dozen family members and friends gathered Saturday afternoon outside the 15033 Hicksville Road home as snow began falling.

"The Lord gave us this wonderful weather today, reminding us that all good things come down from above," Stauffer said.

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