HOUSTON—Frank Elementary in Klein ISD is rallying around the Houston firefighter who was critically injured in the Southwest Inn blaze.
The school has already delivered some of the students’ 875 handmade get well cards to Memorial Hermann where Capt. William Dowling is fighting for his life.
His school "family" is also raising money to help the firefighter and his family on what promises to be a difficult road to recovery.
"I think they know that there has been a tragedy that’s happened and they know that firefighters have died," Frank Elementary Principal Eve Messina said of her students. "And they know it has affected somebody who is close to them."
Dowling’s wife is a teacher at the elementary school. They are both graduates of Klein Oak High School.
The district is accepting cash and gift card donations for the Dowling family at Frank Elementary.
"She’s our family and our kids feel like she’s their family," said Messina. "And she’s one of their teachers and she has a need and they love her and care for her family too."
Dowling’s father tells KHOU 11 News he appreciates the kindness of the school and their growing extended family. Capt. Dowling has had portions of both legs amputated and several more surgeries are likely. He remains in critical condition.
"I want to hold his face in my hands, I want to kiss him is what I want to do right now," said Rickie Dowling of his son still sedated and covered in the tubes and wires of life-saving medical devices in ICU.
"What I want more than anything is prayer to God to raise him up and use him in the years to come," added Dowling.
To learn more about how you can donate to the Dowling family visit the Klein ISD Facebook page.
Frank Elementary students are also delivering thank you cards to Houston Fire Stations 51 and 68 and to the volunteer fire department that services their elementary school.