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Disabled veteran loses everything to grass fire

<i>KPTV</i><br/>David Dixon
David Dixon

By Jeffrey Lindblom

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    THE DALLES, Oregon (KPTV) — A grass fire swept through part of The Dalles on Wednesday, burning 150 acres and several homes.

David Dixon’s home was one of the houses lost to the Milepost 87 Fire. Dixon is a veteran who suffered from frostbite on his feet during his service, leaving him disabled.

He says that his home went up in flames at the drop of a hat. Losing everything but the clothes on his back, and thankfully his best friend.

“I had just enough time to open up my door, and luckily my deaf and blind 15-year-old dog [Roger] was right by the door,” Dixon said.

Dixon says he was with a neighbor when he saw the fire, and with the wind howling, he said it suddenly took a turn for his home.

“I barely made it around the corner and my trailer was completely engulfed in flames. Within 15 minutes, [it’s] a pile of rubble,” he said. “It’s something that – thank God I’m alive.”

Now, Dixon is encouraging others to be cautious.

“If you have any house and you any vegetation out there, mow it down and keep it watered because it will happen just like that,” Dixon said, snapping his fingers.

He says he’s grateful his dog was near the door, because he doesn’t believe he would have had the time to rescue him if he was anywhere else but there.

“It’s something that I’ll never forget right now,” Dixon said as he fought back tears.

The fire has forced Dixon and his dog Roger to stay in unfamiliar places, which he said confused his deaf and blind pup. He admits the experience of losing everything terrifies him and said he’s been having nightmares.

“It’s scary. I don’t want nobody to go through this. Nobody. I mean it. What hurts the most is I lost all my prized possessions – everything,” Dixon said. “Family photos, and everything. What’s the best is that I’m alive, and I have my family and my dog.”

Dixon has a GoFundMe set up that he said has received some love, for which he’s very grateful.

“I don’t know how to thank everybody for helping me out.”

Dixon wants to thank police and fire crews for their quick response and help saving other homes. He also wanted to thank the community for all their help so far.

“Life goes on. I’m alive, and my dog’s alive. I’ll figure something out,” Dixon said. “I’ll rebuild and I’ll get back. I’m going to pull it out. I’m strong.”

Dixon said he really did lose everything but the clothes on his back. Things like medicine, his glasses and hearing aids. He said those are all items his local VA is helping him get back.

He said that also on the VA’s suggestion, he’ll be heading to therapy next Tuesday.

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