ESTACADA, Ore. — Late Tuesday, for the second time since last week, the Dodson family returned to their rental property, or what is left of it, in rural Estacada.
"It's still a dream, a nightmare, I hope to wake up from," said John Dodson. "It'll probably be the same outcome."
Dodson and his family evacuated last Tuesday. Flames from the Riverside Fire then engulfed their more than 3,000 square foot home. It was reduced to nothing more than a pile of rubble.
"A whole lot of things that are replaceable," said Dodson. "It's better than it could've been."
It is remarkable that Dodson is as positive as he is. 2020 has not been kind to the Dodsons. Earlier this year, Dodson's wife, Stephanie, suffered a spinal cord injury. She is currently paralyzed from the waist down.
"We have a pretty strong family and rely on each other. So when one of us is down a little bit, the other one is there to pick up," said Stephanie. "It's another day. You just have to get up and face it and if you're together you'll be fine."
Together the Dodson family sifted through the debris that was once their home. They stumbled across the stove, the microwave, and the frame of a bed. Not much else was recognizable.
"There's nobody to be mad at," said Dodson. "Wish we would've taken more stuff. Would've been nice to have some of my good clothes."
What the Dodson's do have is each other and just maybe some better days ahead.
"I'm hoping next year will be much better."
The Dodson's have set up a Go Fund Me to help with unexpected expenses as a result of the fire.