Parents Of David Thank Oskaloosa And Mahaska County CERT

Angelia (blue coat left) and Robert Fogle (center) at a candlelight vigil for their son David Fogle.

Angelia (blue coat left) and Ronald Fogle (center) at a candlelight vigil for their son David Fogle.

Oskaloosa, Iowa – Sitting around a little table inside a local hotel, David Fogle’s parents are overwhelmed with emotion as they search for the words to best describe the thankfulness they have for the Oskaloosa community and its support.

David Fogle, a red-headed, smiling 7-year-old 2nd grader, was tragically killed as a result of a fire in his home on Friday, February 15.

Since then, the non-profit Mahaska County CERT Team has been there to help the family financially, and emotionally, as the family struggles to make sense of their life since that tragic night.

The residents of Oskaloosa and Mahaska County have stepped forward, making monetary and other donations to help the family during this time.

David’s father Ronald Fogle says the family has moved around a lot, and they often keep to themselves. Ronald says he has friends in Oskaloosa, and they decided to come here after hearing about the school system, and that it was a great community.

So the family packed up, leaving Wichita behind them. “Since we’ve got here, the school’s been great. Everyone’s been, I don’t even know how to put it, friendly,” said Ronald of the move to Oskaloosa.

David Fogle (photo provided by family)

David Fogle (photo provided by family)

After the fire, and the loss of David, Ronald says that it’s been wonderful to see the outpouring of love the community has shown and being able to meet many of the people who have stepped up to give comfort and support. “So many great teams, and great people. I wouldn’t have known what to do without them.”

Ronald brushes aside tears thinking of the community’s support.

That community support started the night of the fire. Next door neighbor Dede Horn immediately opened up her home to some cold and scared children, and a mother who was grief-stricken, and suffering from burns sustained while trying to reach her child. “She was here the very next day,” said Ronald. Horn took David’s mother Angelia Swindler out to get some clothes because Angelia left the hospital in just a gown.

Angelia, crying, described Horn’s generosity to get her hair cut to remove the singed and burnt hairs.

The night of the fire, the Mahaska County CERT Team worked to find a motel for the family to stay in for a couple of nights. The hotel generously cut rates in an effort to help further.

“I’ll tell you what, when a big guy grabs you and says your coming with them, there’s not much argument,” said Ronald of Jamey Robinson. “The entire team, I haven’t met them all yet, I’ve only met a few, I can’t talk enough about them.”

“We’re simple people,” explained Angelia. “We’ve never asked for much but the bare necessaries in life. I had two pairs of jeans that fit me, in which I was happy.”

“There are more important things than material things in our opinion,” added Angelia.

Robert, when arriving at the scene of the fire also attempted to enter the building to search for his son. A tense time followed as law enforcement had to restrain him at the scene. "I know I was heading into danger, but that's my son down there. If they hadn't stopped me, I probably would have joined him. I wouldn't be here. I actually got to tell them thank you. They did their job, and they saved my life."

Ronald, when arriving at the scene of the fire also attempted to enter the building to search for his son. A tense time followed as law enforcement had to restrain him at the scene. “I know I was heading into danger, but that’s my son down there. If they hadn’t stopped me, I probably would have joined him. I wouldn’t be here. I actually got to tell them thank you. They did their job, and they saved my life.”

“If it hadn’t been for this town, I wouldn’t know what I would be doing,” explained Ronald of the emotional and financial help received since the fire. “I was sitting there after holding my son after he passed away. I could only think he’s gone. My son’s gone. What am I going to do? What can I do?”

“Well we got you two nights,” Ronald says of CERT’s offer to house the family; and the team’s work to help the family transition “has been a blessing.”

“I don’t know how or where these guys [CERT} do it. If it wasn’t for the community backing these guys up like they are, we’d be lost totally,” Robert said.

Angelia on Thursday morning, suffering from the raw burns on her body, was still pondering the ‘what ifs’ of the moment. “I did everything I could think of at the time. There’s a whole lot of ‘what ifs’. What if I tried this route, if I tried that route.”

Robert who is consoling Angelia adds, “The Lord gave him for the time we had him, and took him home. Now he’s with his Grandpa [inaudible] there in heaven.”

Speaking about their son David, “He’s never met a stranger,” says Angelia.

“Never turned down a hug,” Robert said smiling and laughing. You were lucky if you could get by this boy without giving him a hug.”

“His laugh was pure joy,” Angelia remembered of David. “Every ounce of it was pure love.”

“He loved Batman, and he was also a big fan of Johnny Cash,” Angelia remembers of David, who also wanted to become a Marine, just like his grandfather.

Angelia and Robert Fogle sat down to thank Oskaloosa and the Mahaska County CERT team for all they have done to help.

Angelia and Ronald Fogle sat down to thank Oskaloosa and the Mahaska County CERT team for all they have done to help.

“He lightened everybody that came near him,” Ronald said of David. “He touched a lot of people in this world. I couldn’t have been no prouder of him.”

David’s body, as was the family’s wish, was cremated. “We’re going to come together on St. Patty’s day, his birthday,” said Ronald of the upcoming memorial service for David.

For the family who describes themselves as traveling a lot, “From what I’ve seen, this just became our home,” explained Ronald of the outpouring from the Oskaloosa Community. “But we decided to bring David home to us, and he’s going to stay with me. Now when I go, she [Angelia] can do with me and David and put us where she wants. But we’re bringing him home here, and he’s going to stay here with us.”

A candlelight vigil was held on Friday night on the Oskaloosa Square. Family, friends, and community members joined together to support each other.

Many in attendance shared their memories of David, bringing many smiles, some laughter, and many tears.

The Mahaska County CERT team has created stickers to help raise funds. Angelia asked that Autism be a part of those stickers to help bring more awareness to Autism. David’s autism played a factor in the fire that took his life.

“That young man has touched so many people, and brought so many people together,” Ronald said of his son David. “I just wish we could have done it without a loss. It’s sad that it takes something like this to bring us all together. We should do it regardless.”

If you would like to help the Fogle family, the Mahaska County CERT team is accepting monetary donations for the family. You can leave those donations at the Mahaska County Law Center at the 911 Center window.

You can also reach out to the Mahaska County CERT team on their Facebook Page HERE – https://www.facebook.com/mahaskacocert/

Decals are out and about throughout Oskaloosa. They are only $5.00 each, and all proceeds will go to the family of David Fogle.
Locations include; Legacy Real Estate Group, Julie’s Cafe, Mahaska Drug, Family Video, Oskaloosa Fire Station, and Oskaloosa News-Located in Penn Central Mall.

Posted by on Feb 24 2019. Filed under Local News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Comments are closed

     

Search Archive

Search by Date
Search by Category
Search with Google
 
Log in | Copyright by Oskaloosa News