Toys collected for family who lost home in fire |

Toys collected for family who lost home in fire

Linda Hiller

Students at Minden Montessori collected toys, blankets, clothes, food, money and more for the Dykes family, who lost their 85-year-old home April 2 in a fire.

Tammy Dykes and two of her children, 3-year old Pierce and 7-year-old Jenna came to the school Wednesday to accept the items.

A 4-year-old student at the academy had been touched by the plight of the Dykes children and their loss of toys. Following letters home to the parents, director Jane Pinckney said “a ton of stuff” came in less than a week after the fire.

“One of our students told the other kids of her experience losing her house last summer in a fire,” Pinckney said. “The children were really touched by that.”

That student was 4-year-old Marce Herz. The 92-year-old Herz house was one of four residences lost during the Autumn Hills blaze last June.

“My car was so full when we left there,” Tammy said. “It was so nice. The kids loved it.”

The office of dentist David Lund, where dad Gary Dykes runs his dental lab, will be taking in any donations for the family living temporarily in town.

“We’re still going out to what’s left of the house every day and cleaning up, but we’re not living on the site,” Tammy said.

She added that the family appreciates the many items that have come in so far and said that anything that they can’t use will be saved for a giant “fire sale.”

“We’ve had a storage unit donated to us and can store things in there until the sale,” she said.

The house was destroyed in what started as a chimney fire and quickly spread through the home which had sawdust as insulation. Because of its age, the home was uninsured.

Tammy said estimates from $50,000 to $100,000 have been mentioned for running power to the somewhat remote site. The family previously used solar, wind and propane generator power.

The Dykes are still seeking temporary housing – perhaps a mobile home on loan or donation – to house them on their property.

Dr. Lund’s office is located at 1637 Esmeralda in Minden. Phone 782-7705 for information.