Donation drive for Dorena Lake fire victims making progress

Richard Bese and his brother's homes burned down during a fire last week. Since then, the Cottage Grove community has been helping them get back on their feet.

Posted: Sep 14, 2018 6:24 PM
Updated: Sep 14, 2018 6:24 PM

COTTAGE GROVE, Ore. -- The Cottage Grove community is helping one man pick up the pieces after he lost his home near Dorena when seven structures caught fire last week.

Richard Bese and his brother's homes burned down during that fire. Since then, the Cottage Grove community has been helping them and other victims get back on their feet.

"How grateful we are for them, and we just pray that God blesses each and every one of them," Bese said.

KEZI 9 News spoke with Cottage Grove resident Lori Lucas. When she heard about the fire, she said she immediately started a donation drive to help Bese and the other people impacted by the fire.

Lucas said people have been dropping off countless loads of things to donate to Pay-It Forward, a non-profit organization in Cottage Grove.

She said she felt compelled to start the donation drive because she lost her home due to a fire 10 years ago.

"I've been through it myself, and I know what it's like when you are displaced and have nothing,” Lucas said. “And it's really difficult to start all over again, and if you can start out with donations and build up from there -- it's just helpful to get some kind of ground level to begin with. When you go through it, you have nothing."

Bese and his brother are currently staying at a motel. He said they have plans to buy trailers soon and live back on the property where the fire happened. Until then, he's just happy things are going in the right direction.

"Quit isn't in the vocabulary,” Bese said. “When you face a day with a smile, that's a lot easier than facing it with a big frown."

If you like to help the people impacted by the fire, you can drop off donations at Pay-It Forward, 1161 Ostrander Lane in Cottage Grove.

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