WHITE BLUFF, Tenn. (WKRN) — The White Bluff community is rallying around a beloved youth sports coach as he recovers from severe burns after an accident at his home Saturday. 

Dennis Donaldson had been coaching Little League baseball, softball, and youth football over the past two decades. He’s also a former Dickson County law enforcement agent.   

“Best word I can use is a warrior, I mean that’s just what it comes down to. He’s a fighter,” his son Elijah Donaldson told News 2.  

On Saturday, Coach Donaldson’s family said he received extensive severe burns after a gas can explosion. The White Bluff Fire Department said they helped get a helicopter to transport him, and he’s now recovering from a Monday surgery at Tristar Skyline Medical Center. 

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Elijah said it was quick thinking between him and his girlfriend, Ashley Russell, that helped save his dad’s life.  

“Me and my girlfriend were able to put him out, just smothered him, rolled him on the ground, it was bad for the most part, you know,” Elijah explained. “Kind of watching that all go down, it’s like a movie. It’s hard to see, and that’s all I can see right now.” 

Now Coach Donaldson’s wife, daughter, and two sons are leaning on faith to get them through.  

“Just prayers right now for the most part. When White Bluff comes together, we can move the world I think. And that’s the great thing about living in a small town; everyone’s very giving and as a family we appreciate all the prayers and thoughts and love sent our way,” Elijah said.  

At the end of the day, they know Coach Donaldson is not a quitter. 

“He’s going to pull through, he’s definitely a fighter, he’s a strong guy,” Elijah said. 

Elijah told News 2 his father was stable following his surgery Monday and continuing to recover in the ICU.

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A GoFundMe has also been set up for the Donaldson family.