MONTROSE — Now that a Montrose family has been rendered homeless by an electrical fire early Monday morning, they are seeking help to rebuild their lives.
"They lost everything," said Elaine Mitchell, mother of homeowner Lisa Deain. The Deain home caught fire early Monday morning.
Rodney said he is normally a heavy sleeper. Luckily for him and his family, he woke up to the smell of something burning somewhere. At first, he didn't realize his own home was on fire.
"I woke up about 3 a.m. and smelled smoke," Deain said. "It smelled like somebody was burning a wood stove."
When Deain walked outside, he noticed that the smell was coming from his own home.
"I could see smoke coming out of the attic," he said.
While wife Lisa called 911, Rodney woke up the couple's two daughters and rounded up the family dogs in time for all to exit the burning home safely.
The home at 201 W. Willow St. wasn't so fortunate. Chief Chris Overbeck of the Montrose Fire Protection District said the house was a total loss, despite efforts from four fire departments, including Teutopolis, Sigel and Dieterich.
Overbeck said the first group of firefighters were on the scene within a few minutes of the 3:50 a.m. call.
"When we got there, there were flames going through the roof, so we pulled a full still to get other departments to provide mutual aid," the chief said.
While the initial round of flames was doused within 15 minutes, Overbeck said firefighters had to return to the home twice Monday because of previously undetected hot spots. The chief said the balloon-style construction of the home made it hard to detect fire in certain corners of the home.
Overbeck said the Illinois State Fire Marshal determined the fire started from an electrical malfunction in the attic.
Meanwhile, the Deains are trying to move on. Mrs. Deain said the family hopes to use insurance money to rebuild on the site where they have lived for nine years. In the meantime, the four are seeking clothing donations from their community to help them get by.
Breanna, 10, wears juniors size 5 jeans, juniors large shirts, women's size 8 shoes and socks, and medium- to large-sized pajamas.
Sister Hailey, 14, wears size 16 jeans, juniors XXL shirts, women's women's size 11 shoes, size 8-10 crew socks, and XL pajamas. Both girls are also in need of coats.
Lisa wears size women's size 24 jeans, XXXL shirts, size 10 women's shoes and socks, XXL pajamas and a XXXL coat.
Rodney wears size 32x30 jeans, XL shirts, men's size 9 1/2 shoes, size 10 socks, large pajamas and an XL coat.
Bill Grimes can be reached at 217-347-7151, ext. 132, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.