Community Looks to Help Victims of Oakdale Fire

The Woodbury Dance Center, where a fifth-grader from the destroyed Oakdale townhome takes lessons, is collecting gift cards for the family.

The Oakdale family whose townhome burned in an April 9 fire is getting a little help from the community.

A fifth-grader who lived at the townhome attends Woodbury Dance Center, which is collecting gift cards for the family.

The dance studio is looking for gift cards for grocery stores, Target, restaurants, etc., according to Mary Swenson, an instructor at Woodbury Dance Center.

People can drop them off at the front desk of Woodbury Dance Center until April 23.

“Just trying to help the family out a bit,” Swenson said. “Sounds like they lost everything, but the family is safe and doing well.”

The Oakdale Fire Department got the call about the fire at the 1100 block of Hillvale Avenue North a little after 7 p.m. on Tuesday, April 9.


The end townhome unit collapsed and was “completely destroyed,” Kevin Wold, deputy fire chief, told Patch. No one was injured.

All seven units were evacuated that night and were still without heat and electricity the next day. The Red Cross was working with the residents there, Wold said.

The Woodbury Dance Center is located at 380 Rivertown Drive, in Woodbury.


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Mike April 17, 2013 at 01:14 PM
Was this a community service announcement or an ad for Woodbury dance center?
Kris Janisch April 17, 2013 at 01:44 PM
I don't really see any copy in here about how great Woodbury Dance Center is or anything. But if you know of some other method by which people are helping out a family whose home was devastated by a major fire, let me know.
Mike April 17, 2013 at 03:29 PM
As a "community" Skyview elementary is collecting cash,gift cards and other things as well for the family, which is the school the kid(s) attend. It wouldn't hurt to actually check what other sources may be supplying aid before citing a "community" effort to help and only cite one location. Just a thought for something like a major fire.
jackie Kuehn April 17, 2013 at 03:32 PM
I think it's great that the Dance Center is trying to help a student & there family. Why do some people have to be so negative, If you don't want to give then don't but don't put down some one who is trying to help. At a time like this every little bit makes a difference even if it is only $5. or $10. Just be thankful nothing bad has happened to you. So what if they get a new student from doing this, I don't think that's what they were trying to do.
Kris Janisch April 17, 2013 at 03:32 PM
Thanks Mike!
Kris Janisch April 17, 2013 at 03:32 PM
Appreciate the info.
Kris Janisch April 17, 2013 at 03:33 PM
And please everyone, don't be afraid to call or email me with information of any kind: kris.janisch@patch.com and 651-269-2432.
Lifer April 17, 2013 at 07:40 PM
It's great to see so many offering assistance for the family. I just want to add though, why get defensive about Woodbury Dance offering to help? They are also a "community" trying to help, so why take offense to that? This family needs help, not negativity. I'm sure they are extremely grateful to anyone that is reaching out to them. Thank you, Kris for keeping us updated!! :)
Kris Janisch April 17, 2013 at 07:41 PM
Thanks Lifer, just hope folks remember to contact me about stuff.
Mike April 17, 2013 at 11:17 PM
I'm not sure where people interpret my statement as negative about Woodbury Dance Center, or where I said I didn't want to help. People read what and how they want to I guess. Lets be honest though, it is a sad part of society that many do try to profit from disaster. I AM NOT SAYING THIS IS THE CASE!! I just wanted to point out that schools are also accepting donations and making a difference for this family, a community is more than 1 location. My 6 yr old came home and gave $10 of his own money to his teacher at school the other day for the family, it doesn't mean he should receive kudos for it, the gesture is the reward, not the notoriety. Again, NOT saying WDC did any of that.
Dawn Aniston April 18, 2013 at 02:31 AM
Mike With your last comment, I think you are trying to "back pedal" a bit. Your first comment should be praising our community for its donations, not commenting about an advertisment for WDC. I think your main issue is WDC, as I believe I recognize your name being associated with another dance studio in Woodbury. The focus here is "external" and helping our community, not "internal" focusing on your business and its competitor.
Cal April 18, 2013 at 03:24 AM
Agree Dawn.
Mike April 19, 2013 at 01:51 AM
Interesting, however, I stick with my statements and have no need to back pedal. Secondly, I have no affiliation with any dance center in Woodbury. How you can come to that conclusion based on my first name is suspect at best, although I will admit Mike is a pretty unusual name. As I stated, and am certainly entitled to my opinion, it would be nice to have a complete list of donation centers to be considered a community effort. I added Skyview to that list.
Kathy Olson April 19, 2013 at 02:58 AM
Skyview Middle School raised something like $600 last Friday. I have to agree with Mike that perhaps more than one location should have been named. When only one location (especially if it's a for-profit business) is stated it comes across as free advertising. If the dance studio were the only location doing anything, that would be different...but I'm guessing I could come up with five with about 30 minutes of research during business hours. I can't really complain though...the patch is free and can I really knock a location for raising funds?...sometimes perception's a thorn though...
Kris Janisch April 19, 2013 at 02:27 PM
Thanks for the update Kathy! I've only been the Oakdale editor for about three weeks, so I don't have great sources and contacts developed yet, and it would be nice if people would contact me with stuff: kris.janisch@patch.com 651-269-2432


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