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Postal Colleagues Donate to Burned Dad


Employees at the Cypress post office have started to collect donations for the family of veteran mail carrier Donald Wilson, who lost his home Monday in a fire that severely burned him and his 2-year-old son.

All of the post office's 100 employees have contributed or plan to contribute to the fund, said Mary Foss, a longtime friend and co-worker.

Foss said Wilson started delivering mail in Cypress when he was a teenager, almost 30 years ago.

The Wilsons "are part of our family here at the post office, [and] we do for our own people," she said. "Anything we can do to help when there's a tragedy, we always try to do something."


Fire investigators said the blaze on Larwin Avenue was set early Monday morning by Wilson's 2-year-old son, who was playing with a lighter in an unoccupied bedroom.

Fifty-five firefighters from four cities extinguished the blaze, which caused an estimated $180,000 in damages.

Fire officials said Wilson ran back into the burning home after family members escaped through windows and doors and realized the boy was still inside. Wilson and his son both suffered second- and third-degree burns.

Wilson said his son is expected to be released from UCI Medical Center in Orange within the next few days.

Wilson said he doesn't know when he'll be able to leave the hospital.

He said he was overwhelmed by the efforts of his co-workers and the public, who have donated cash, a refrigerator and living room furniture to replace items lost in the fire.

"I can't believe the outpouring of love; it's really fantastic," he said.

Donations can be made care of the Cypress Post Office Postmaster, 5762 Lincoln Ave., Cypress, CA 90630-9998.

Alex Katz can be reached at (714) 966-5977.

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