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March 2, 2014

Port Kent family regrouping after fire

CADYVILLE —  Matt Dresser and Ashley Rogers were in their bedroom folding laundry when the fire alarms in the apartment complex sounded.

Within minutes, the couple said, the building at 14 North St. in Port Kent was in flames. 

“It went up so fast, it was crazy,” Dresser said of the Jan. 23 fire. 

Neighbors warned the family to evacuate, so Dresser and Rogers left immediately with their infant daughter, Brylee, who was 7 weeks old at the time.

Dresser returned to the apartment to rescue their two cats.

Unsure of how much smoke could be harmful to Brylee, they drove to the hospital, where all three were tested for smoke inhalation injury. All were given a clean bill of health. 

PERSPECTIVE

“When we went back in (the apartment) the next day, we were able to salvage a few things,” Rogers said. 

They grabbed photos and personal items, but everything else was damaged.

The couple were upset about losing gifts from family and friends. 

“People worked hard to give us these gifts, and they’re gone,” Dresser said.

Rogers said at first they were worried about losing electronics.

“Those don’t really seem like major things anymore,” she said. 

‘SO GRATEFUL’

Soon after the fire the family started receiving donations from the community, and Rogers said she couldn’t believe how quickly word spread of their situation.

“We’re so grateful. I can’t believe the outpouring (of donations) we’ve had,” she said. 

Three bags of clothes were given to Brylee, who is quickly outgrowing newborn sizes at 12 weeks old.

“We’ve gotten donations from people we don’t even know,” Dresser added.

‘REALLY HARD’

He’s thankful for his brother, Chris Dresser, who almost immediately started planning a fundraiser for the family, which is set for today. 

“We’re really grateful to have family so close,” Rogers said. 

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