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A family who lost a loved one a week ago has now lost their home.
The family of the late Todd Dickens, just buried last Sunday, was trying to somewhat return to a normal life after a summer that was filled with a roller coaster of emotions, according to friends of the family Cindy Lampton and Deb Moore.
Tricia Wartenbee and Dickens have shared a home together for more than 11 years before he passed away on Sept. 17. The couple have a child together and Dickens was the father figure for Wartenbee’s children from a previous relationship. Wartenbee has taken care of Dickens since 2000 when a car accident left him confined to a wheelchair.
In June, an alleged drunk driver struck Dickens, causing critical injuries as he returned home from one of his children’s baseball games. For the most part since the accident, Dickens had remained in a rehabilitation facility in Overland Park, Kan., a drive Wartenbee and the children would make on a daily basis.
This past Saturday night, according to the friends, Wartenbee allowed her children to have a friend over to stay the night to give the kids a break from recent events. At about 2 a.m. on Sunday morning, the 6-year-old friend was awake playing video games when he smelled smoke. Everyone else in the house was asleep, so the child alerted Wartenbee and everyone made it out of the house safely, however, everything the family owns is lost.
Lampton, owner of the Bearcat Den in Orrick has set up an account to accept donations for the family. Lampton is also compiling a list of things that people can donate. The family needs everything from furniture and appliances to clothes and shoes.
Clothes are needs for a boy whose sizes are 31×31 pants, men’s medium sized shirts and size 10 shoes.
Clothes are needed for a 10-year-old boy who likes athletic style pants, 12/14 size and size 6 1/2 shoes.
Clothes are also needed for a 9-year-old girl who wears size 12/14 and size 5 1/2 on the shoes.
Wartenbee needs clothes 16/18 pants, XXL on shirts and 8 1/2 shoes.
For more information, contact the Bearcat Den at 816-770-2637.