Foster’s Daily Democrat, Dover, N.H.
Sep. 14—ROCHESTER — A family is coming to grips with losing their home after a fire destroyed their residence at 71 Chapman Drive Friday, and a fundraiser has been set up to help the family regroup.
The blaze went to four alarms, bringing firefighters from around the region to help the Rochester Fire Department with its response. The home is considered a total loss and the cause remains under investigation.
The family members are currently displaced, living in several locations, according to Elizabeth Obrey, who lived there with her husband Chris Wagner, his son Jacob, 21, and her three boys: Jackson, 15, and twins Mason and Dylan, 17.
Elizabeth Obrey said the family has insurance and plans to rebuild. In the meantime, they are staying in different locations with family.
“My boys are with their dad,” said Obrey. “My stepchild, Jacob is with his mother. Chris and I are in another location. We are safe, and luckily, as a blended family, the boys all had clothing at their other parents’ homes so they are not left with only the clothes on their back at the time of the fire. No one was hurt because everyone was outside by the time the fire was fully involved.”
An online fundraiser for the family has been set up by a friend, to help with their current daily living needs as they go through the insurance and rebuilding process. Donations are being accepted at gofundme.com/f/help-support-the-obrey-family.
The family is desperately seeking one of their dogs, hoping he ran off in panic during the fire. They are asking the public to watch for Oliver and to help retrieve him.
Photos of Oliver were supplied by 15-year-old Jackson Obrey, who misses him terribly, as does their dog Bailey. Anyone who sees the dog is asked to email firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Oliver is 2 years old,” Jackson said. “He’s a small (40-45 pounds) beagle/golden retriever mix. He will be a very scared dog but he wouldn’t hurt a fly. I ask if someone sees him, try to get him. Chase him even if it makes him cry. It’s better than him trying to continue to be on his own.”
When the fire broke out Friday afternoon, Chris Wagner and his son, Jacob, who is autistic, were at home, according to Elizabeth Obrey, who had gone to school to pick up her boys.
“Chris heard the smoke alarms go off,” she said. “It happened so quickly. He went into the living room where Jacob was and told him where to go, to a safe place outside. He grabbed leashes for both dogs and handed them to Jacob. We think Oliver ran out a side door, set up for the dogs to come in and out.”
Elizabeth Obrey said once Jacob and Bailey were safe, Chris went to the side yard trying to find Oliver.
Then she and the boys arrived home.
“I saw Jacob in the yard, with no shoes on,” Elizabeth Obrey said. “Because of his autism he was ‘ticking,’ reacting and scared. Bailey walks with Jacob and stayed by his side. We called 911, moved the cars for fire department and waited. Mason is in a wheelchair. He has cerebral palsy. We just watched because there was nothing we could do. We looked for Oliver, but he was gone. I went out back to look but windows started blowing out and it wasn’t safe to stay there any longer.”
Rochester Fire Chief Mark Klose has credited the working smoke detectors with saving lives in the fire.
They are holding out hope for Oliver.
“We have been going back and sitting in lawn chairs hoping he will return but I think maybe the scent of the fire is keeping him away,” Elizabeth Obrey said. “We have food and water out for him. We can’t say for sure if he went back in the house, but I am told it’s unlikely that a dog would go back into a house fire.”
The family is in contact with Granite State Dog Recovery for help. Family members, neighbors and friends of the boys have been driving around looking, too. The family is staying hopeful Oliver is hiding, frightened, and that someone will see him.
“We are all safe and the only thing that would make this better is finding Oliver,” Elizabeth Obrey said.
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