Two days before Christmas, tragedy struck a Brock family and now the community is coming together to help.
A call to the Brock-Dennis Volunteer Fire Department came in in shortly before 4 a.m., Dec. 23, about a structure fire located on Lazy Bend Estates Road, said Joel Kertok, Emergency Management Public Information Officer.
When fire officials arrived at the scene, a home was fully engulfed by flames. It was then discovered that the homeowner, 46-year-old Donnie Collier, was unable to escape the blaze, Kertok said.
Other residents of the home, who made it to safety, realized Collier was unaccounted for and made rescue attempts, as did firefighters, but were driven back by the flames, officals said.
According to reports, the fire began in the living area where Collier was later discovered. The cause of the fire is still under investigation but officials suspect the blaze could be related to a heat lamp being used under the home to keep the pipes from freezing.
“Our hearts go out to the family and friends as they deal with this tragedy,” Kertok said.
Following the news of the fire and Collier’s death, Brock head football coach Chad Worrell said Collier - a former teacher and friend - was a “huge supporter” of the football program.
“His two sons play football here,” Worrell said. “Tyler is our starting center and will be a senior next year; Skyler is in 8th grade and is also a football player.
“Donnie was one of our biggest supporters here in Brock. He was always at games and had encouraging words for both coaches and players.”
Still, some took to social media to vent their concerns on Facebook.
“Though our hearts are extremely heavy with sorrow and grief from the tragic loss of one of our fellow community members, we are once again reminded that our cups runneth over in the Brock, Texas,” posted Danielle Felts, Brock ISD school board member. “RIP Donnie Collier...Brock Nation will serve your family well. #wearebrock.”
Felts also listed information for those wishing to make a donation to help the family:
“Right now, the best thing for the Collier family is prayers, many prayers and monetary donations; please know there is no donation too small,” the post read. “An account is now set up at First Financial Bank in Brock, reference the Marsha Collier Benefit Account.
“Not only did the fire take the life of a great husband/father, the house and all it's contents were a total loss.”
Felts said “there is no better place to be when there is a time of need than in Brock, Texas. Thank you for all you have done and will do to help this wonderful family.”
She added that her thoughts and prayers are with Collier’s wife, Marsha, and his sons, who attend Brock ISD; Kason (kindergarten), Skyler (8th Grade), Tyler (junior) and Zack (senior).
• Donations can be made to:
Marsha Collier Benefit Account
First Financial Bank of Brock
FM 1189, Brock, Texas, 76087