Father, son still hospitalized after fire; community outpouring swells

Jul 18, 2014 By Kelli Ameling, Staff Writer

Members of the Feike and Noelle van Dijk family say they are grateful for the support of the Fremont County community after a structure fire that killed two of their five young children Tuesday.

Whitney Forbis-Rota, a close friend of the family, said Feike van Dijk is up walking around after being transported by air to a burn center in Salt Lake City the night of the fire.

He remains in Salt Lake with his 10-month-old son Ephraim, who also was transported by air to the burn center Tuesday.

Both patients still are hospitalized, and Forbis-Rota said the family is "staying positive" about Ephraim's condition.

Ephraim is one of the couple's 10-month-old twins. The other twin, a girl, is in Lander with her mother and 5-year-old brother. They are staying at Noelle van Dijk's mother's house according to Forbis-Rota.

'Sending their love'

While the van Dijk family tries to move forward and mourn the tragic loss they are experiencing, Forbis-Rota said they are "sending their love."

"They are without words for the support they have received from the community," she said.

She is helping to plan a spaghetti dinner with a silent and live auction to benefit the family at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 13, at the St. Margaret's gymnasium, 622 E. Park Ave. in Riverton.

"Everyone is welcome," she said.

According to Forbis-Rota, Tony's Pizza in Lander will donate the spaghetti and bread for the benefit. She is working on getting salads as well for the


"I wanted to do this because the van Dijk family holds a special place in my heart," she said, explaining that two of the five van Dijk children have attended her day care. "I can't even imagine what they are going through."

Anyone wanting to donate to the auction can do so by contacting Forbis-Rota at 851-0894.

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