Fire consumes artwork, tools and more

    (Lander, WY) – Getting a knock on your door in the morning that something you own with your possessions inside is on fire is not something that anyone wants to get.

    That knock came for Lander resident Deak Dollard on Friday, March 15. His shop was on fire. He had just sprayed it with foam insulation and moved things into it temporarily while he tried to figure out where he wanted things to go in his new house.

    According to Deak, investigators believe the fire was electrical.


    “(It) just caught on fire and burned everything down,” he said.

    One thing you should know about Deak is that he’s an artist. His work can be seen at three local schools and in Thermopolis. He sculpted the Lander tiger, the Wind River cougar, and the two eagle heads in medicine wheels at St. Stephens.

    Inside the shop were all of his tools and recent works of art, including an eagle sculpture commissioned for Fort Washakie Schools.

    He plans to redo the eagle, and thinks it will have a good story of resilience and coming back, which some of the students might be able to relate to.


    Behind the eagle sculpture, there are two other works of art that were lost in the fire.

    Due to Deak’s artwork in the shop, the insurance company is considering it a business and denying his claim, leaving him to replace everything out-of-pocket.

    Deak has felt the community support in a significant way, and shared his appreciation.


    “The support has been great,” he said. “It just lifts that, that defeat feeling and kind of gives me hope.

    “I thank the community for all support. Like I wrote on my Facebook post, ‘Comebacks are always better than the setbacks.'”

    Deak’s friend Justin Friday set-up a GoFundMe for him to help with expenses. As of this writing, $5,210 has been donated out of a goal of $6,000.


    You can donate to the GoFundMe here.


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