MILES, Iowa. (KWQC) - Communities showing up in droves to support a family facing the fight of their lives, just days after Dan Miller was burned in a home explosion. Miller suffered burns over 95% of his body.
The Miller family
The money from the Benefit Pull was originally going to go towards the Miles & Preston volunteer Fire Departments and their ambulance services; but after hearing about the house explosion, they knew they had to make a change.
"I will always remember where I was. I was speechless, I would never have wanted this to happen to anyone or Dan. He is such a wonderful person and he didn't deserve that at all," said Rachael Eskidlsen, who went to High School with Dan. "Just because you're not related by blood, we're all related and we come together in a time of need and it's important to stick together," she continued.
The fire departments giving their role as beneficiaries to the Miller's - they had no doubt about it. Dennis Driscoll from the Preston Fire Department said he, "felt it was the only thing to do. Anybody that hasn't lived in the Preston/Miles comm that's just what we do, there was no question that this is what we wanted to do."
They say they'll just work harder at their next fundraiser, and work towards the Miller's first. "We'll survive. It's more important today to support the Miller family and tomorrow we'll support the Preston Fire Department."
With a strong tie to the community, it was an easy choice to put the Miller's needs ahead of their own, "it was such a devastating accident, huge loss for the family. it's important to help them first...if tables were turned they'd be helping people," said Deb Warner who volunteers for EMS.
They expected nearly 1,000 people there and all of the proceeds will be going towards the Miller's. At five o'clock on Saturday, a prayer was held in Miles, and we were told that Jen and Dan were praying at the same time - so the community was still together, in prayer.
The cause of the explosion remains under investigation, but on the day it happened, officials said it may have been caused by a gas leak.