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October 25, 2013     Cape Gazette
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October 25, 2013
 

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22 FRIDAY, OCTOBER 25 - MONDAY, OCTOBER 28, 2013 N]WS Cape Gazette RYAN MAVlTY PHOTO REHOBOTH BEACH SINGER/SONGWRITER VIKI DEE surveys damage caused by a fire that destroyed her home Oct. 20. The fire caused $70,000 in damage and took the lives of Dee's pets - a dog, a cat and a cockatoo. Viki Dee Continued from page 1 "I put a lot of money into the house," Dee said. "It was really painful to watch that happen."_ After performing at Delaware Distilling Company Oct. 20, Dee came home to find her house smothered in smoke. The fire caused $70,000 in damage, and it took aof Dee's most cherished possessions: a dog, a cat and a cockatoo all perished. "It's hard," she said. "I'm left with nothing but the clothes that were on my back. I don't have anything. I'm really starting over. I'm blessed to be alive. But the animals, that's what breaks my heart." Dee said when she came home from her performance, her bed- room was still in flames. She tried to enter the front door. When* she did, Dee said, the backdraft blew her off the porch. She dialed 911, and frantically called for her dog, Philip. "The smoke was just huge. I couldn't even see," Dee said. Investigators' initial assess- ment, she said, is that it was an electrical fire caused by wiring. Her house was insured, but Dee is most emotional about the things she can't get back. Phillip was 13 years old, and her cockatoo had just turned 24. "They were my family. He was my boy," Dee said of Phillip. "I tell everybody I miss my boy every Nay. I can't get that back. I don't care about the house as much as I care about them." It was only when she began to go through the house to see what was salvagable that what hap- pened began to sink in. Dee said watching her home go.up was a helpless feeling. "I felt like I was having an out- of-body experience," she said. "Every thing was surreal. It's still surreal. It's unimaginable. The word shock isn't even a big enough word. I couldn't believe the effect of what a fire can re- ally do2 In addition to her animals, Dee also lost all of her work- songs and lyrics - as well as family keepsakes. "It's so much more than losing a home; it's what it rep- resented," Dee-said. "I had my father's things in there, and he's deceased, so I have nothing of his anymore. People think the memory is compensation, and it's really not. You want to hold something tangible." Dee is staying with friends as investigators continue to deter- mine the cause of the fire. She said she has been overwhelmed by the support of the community, who have helped with donations and support. "I think it's what's kept me going," Dee said, choking back tears. "It says something about this community when people are in need - they're right there to help in any way they can. I'm blessed beyond belief. They're my angels." She said her mother and her sister are flying in from Los Angeles to provide support. Dee has decided to cancel her perfor- mances for the immediate future. "I don't have it in me," Dee said, "It takes a lot. I can't stand very long. I can't concentrate very much. I'm a little out of sorts. I'm just going to take a break for a little while to get my head together and get some strength back. Then I'll go back up" She said she doesn't plan to be away from the stage for too long, but for now, she doesn't want the stress of her situation to affect her performance. "It won't be long, because I know I'll miss it," she said. Dee's friends will host a Satur- day, Nov. 16 fundraiser. The fundraiser will be held from 6 to 10 p.m. at the Rusty Rudder in Dewey Beach. Orga- nizer Mary Ann Slinkman said Rusty Rudder owner Alex Pires has donated not only the Rud- der, but the food for a spaghetti dinner, desserts and drinks from the cash bar. The fundraiser requires $25 tickets, which can be purchased at Maggio Shields Realty on Route 1 and at Sign A Rama on Rehoboth Avenue Extended. One hundred percent of the proceeds will go to Dee, Slink- man said, and the night will feature a roster of local enter- tainers. Pires said, "She's a wonderful person, a talented singer/musi- cian. Viki's had a bad break but needs to know the community is going to help her get back on her feet." Dee is aware of the benefit and was thankful to Pires for donat- ing the space. "I think I'm going to be a wreck," she joked. Despite all she's been through, Dee said she is trying to stay positive. "It's a whole new lesson. I've never experienced this lesson. It's a new life. It's a brand-new life. I guess the positive aspect of it is I've been given a new begin- ning. It's going to be different," she said. 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