Community aids Maynard family

MAYNARD – The Maynard Fire Department and Sportsmen’s Club presented a check Tuesday night for nearly $8,000 to the Dopkiss family, who lost their home in a fire Jan. 27. Also present was Delores Shinkarow, the neighbor whose quick reaction prevented the tragedy from claiming the family’s lives.

At about 11:30 p.m. Jan. 27, Shinkarow looked out her window and was shocked to see her neighbors’ house engulfed in flames.

“I happened to see it and I ran over there. I started hollering, ‘The house is on fire!’

“It was the whole side of the house. It was a terrible sight,” she said. “It was a blaze.”

Gerald and Kelly Dopkiss and their son, Zach were asleep at the time and quickly exited the structure. Shinkarow said the fire marshal informed them that a delay of five more minutes would likely have resulted in the deaths of all three.

When firefighters from Maynard, Barton and Harrisville arrived, they saw the house could not be saved and they could only keep the fire from spreading. Maynard Fire Chief Steve Klan noted that the fire began at a wood burner in a room addition. The fire had spread through the house.

Shinkarow was later presented with the Good Neighbor Award by the fire department.

“I’m glad I saved three lives,” she said.

“She’s our angel,” said Kelly Dopkiss.

Dopkiss spoke about the loss of the family’s home of more than 20 years of all the memories and mementos it held, but added that the community has been generous in lending help and support including donations and a Feb. 17 benefit held by the fire department and Sportsmen’s Club.

“It’s overwhelming, everybody’s help,” Dopkiss said.

“Maynard’s a good community,” added Shinkarow.

The family is currently staying at a rental but plans to erect another house at the site.

DeFrank can be reached at