Mother, four children safe after Windsor fire

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 9, 2004

WINDSOR TOWNSHIP - A Scottown mother and her four children are safe after a fire Wednesday night destroyed their house.

Firefighters give credit to two neighbors who literally knocked the door down to bring the family out of the burning structure.

Windsor Township Fire Chief Donnie Christian said Dawn Ferris and her four children, ranging in age from 5 years to 2 weeks, were in bed asleep when fire broke out at their residence.

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A delivery driver for Monte's Pizza, Donnie Laprat, was passing by the Ferris residence and saw that the house was on fire. He went to the pizza shop and called the fire department.

Christian said Laprat and shop owner Hank Stevenson then went back to the Ferris house, kicked the door down and helped get the family out of the burning house safely.

"Without their help, I feel certain the situation could have turned out badly, without a doubt in my mind," Christian said. "Even after he (Stevenson) got the kids and the mom out, Hank took them to the store and kept them warm. I think he might have even fed them. He gave the firefighters water. He's a nice guy, just a really good guy.

The father, Charles Ferris, was at work at the time of the fire.

Christian said he thinks the fire may have started in or near the breaker box. Windsor firefighters were aided by the Rome Township and Proctorville fire departments. Firefighters were on the scene more than five hours.

Donations for the family are being collected at the Andis School.