Family of 8 displaced by house fire in Independence - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Family of 8 displaced by house fire in Independence

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A family of 8 in Independence spent a 4th night in a hotel room after being forced from their home after a fire.

The fire broke out Monday night around 8 at the Dorsey family's home on 8th Ave. NE in Independence.

No-one was home at the time but the fire caused heavy smoke damage - making it unlivable.

Investigators still don't know what caused the fire but the Dorseys say they're grateful everyone's okay and say they're thankful for so much support over the last three days.

Thursday was Tallan Dorsey's 7th birthday.

He's a big fan of Donatello - the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle.

This birthday will be a memorable one - because his family can't celebrate it at home.

Smoke from a fire heavily damaged it.

"I opened the door and I couldn't see anything. There was just smoke everywhere. I couldn't breathe. I was just worried about getting the animals out, we got em out and called 911," said Brandon Dorsey, Tallan's father.

Now, the family of 8 is living out of a hotel.

Their insurance adjuster is supposed to come by on Friday.

But Tallan, sister Mya, brother Brayden, sister Lillyann, older brother Ethan, and younger brother Tay, and their various pets, can't stay at home, thanks to all the soot and smell of monday's fire.

"The main thing is the hotel room. Everybody's in there, they have nothing to do. They don't have their regular activities. The older boys like their XBox and that's gone. Our pets are gone, too. You can't keep dogs at the hotel so it just seems we're not a family right now," said Brandon Dorsey.

The Dorseys were left with literally the clothes on their back. They say they're so grateful for the community's support since the fire.

"They're amazing. I'm full-time in school, too and I work full-time and we have 6 kids. We stick to ourselves but that night with fire trucks here, there were 2 girls who went to Wal-Mart and bought diapers and pajamas for the kids. The way they stepped up surprised me but I wouldn't have expected anything less," said mother, Jessi Dorsey.

"One thing my oldest boy got out. It was a poem for his mom," said Brandon Dorsey, holding the framed poem.

The family is holding on to each other as they wait to find out when they might be able to get back inside what Jessi calls her dream home.

"The worst part is we worked hard for this. With 6 kids, we worked hard for what we did have and in 5 minutes, years worth of work are gone. It's pretty sore," said Jessi Dorsey.

The Dorseys bought the home last spring.

A fund has been set up at Bank Iowa in Independence to help the family.

The Independence School District is also accepting donations for the Dorsey family at East and West Elementary Schools, where the boys attend school.

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