Chillicotheans are assisting a family who lost everything in a house fire Saturday night.
Chillicothe firemen responded to the residence around 9:30 p.m. at 12915 N. Route 29 in Mossville, which is just north of Caterpillar Inc.
Chillicothe Fire Chief John Myers said firefighters ran short on water fighting the blaze. Myers said fire departments from Lacon, Henry, Peoria Heights, Princeville and Dunlap brought in water tankers and extra manpower to extinguish the flames that started in the basement due to an undisclosed cause.
Myers estimated the large four-story home including the basement sustained about $100,000 of damage, along with about $40,000 of damage to its contents.
The family pets – a dog and cat – died in the blaze. A Chillicothe firefighter overexerted himself fighting the flames and was released from the hospital at 3:30 a.m.
Even though there reportedly is insurance on the property, the family members are in need of most everything for daily living.
"They literally do not have anything," said resident Amy Greer, who has one of the family members staying at her residence. The family of five is currently separated and staying with others in the area.
Clothing is already coming in, with various people and businesses stepping up to help. The family includes a female Illinois Central College student, a male Mossville School student, a male Illinois Valley Central High School student, their aunt and grandmother. Greer said what the family may need most currently is money to buy food, toiletries and everyday items they lost.
A fund to help the family is being set up at Associated Bank. Residents wanting to help should ask for Lisa Hammer. Residents may call Greer at 274-8919 to help.
— GateHouse News Service contributed to this story.