July 23, 2016

Partly sunny

Donations accepted for Wadsworth fire victims

WADSWORTH — The Salvation Army is collecting donations for victims of Tuesday’s house fire on Wolf Avenue.

Maj. Debbie Grace, of the Wadsworth Salvation Army, said the office is collecting holiday gift cards, meal cards for local restaurants and nonperishable items for the Gross family.

“A lot of people have already reached out, not just in this situation but in general for other people this time of year,” Grace said Friday.

Dorian Gross, the owner of the home, said his family received some clothing from neighbors but lost everything they owned, including Christmas gifts purchased for their children, Holly, 13, Steven, 8, Savannah, 6, and Sarah, 2.

Also living at the home was Dorian Gross’ father, Wallace, 80, who was treated for smoke inhalation at Summa Wadsworth-Rittman Hospital.

Wallace Gross was alone when the fire broke out shortly before noon Tuesday at 463 Wolf Ave. He was saved by two neighbors who were driving by and saw smoke billowing out of the house. The couple, Justin Bell and his fiancee, Kayla Dukes, broke down the front door and helped the elderly man to safety.

Grace said Gross family members are in temporary housing and have no place to store mass amounts of clothes.

She said the family needs personal-care items, such as soap, shampoo, hairspray, toothpaste, deodorant and razors.

Donations can be dropped off at the Salvation Army office, 527 College St.

In addition, a Gross Family Fire account has been set up at Huntington Bank for people who want to contribute monetarily.

Assistant Fire Chief Ron Likley of the Wadsworth Fire Department said the approximately 2,000-square-foot home was a total loss. He said the damage to the home and contents could reach between $280,000 and $300,000.

Likley said a cause of the fire hasn’t been determined.

“It’s still under investigation at this point,” he said Friday. “The state fire marshal’s office has yet to complete its report.”

Contact reporter Steve Grazier at (330) 721-4012 or sgrazier@medina-gazette.com.