A father, 2-year-old boy and two 17-year-old girls lost their home and everything in it nine days before Christmas. The Collinsville area is rallying to help the family.
Collinsville, Maryville, Troy and Fairview Heights fire departments all responded to a house fire in the 6900 block of Loyet Road in rural Collinsville Tuesday afternoon. A female at the home reported that a fire had started at the dryer. Before the Collinsville Fire Department could get to the scene, the fire had grown so large that other fire departments were called in for assistance, Collinsville Assistant Fire Chief Dale Kyrouac said.
The female home at the time escaped uninjured, Kyrouac said, but the home and everything in it was destroyed. A dog escaped the fire, but the family cat, Lilly, is still missing.
Friend of the family and Collinsville High School teacher Cindy Bednara is coordinating an effort to help the family, who lost the wife and mother to cancer Dec. 12, 2011.
Anyone who wishes to help can drop off household items and clothes in a collection bin at the Maryville Library. Gas cards, Wal-Mart gift cards and pre-paid Visa cards will be especially helpful, Bednara said, and can be left with the library staff. The two 17-year-old girls are currently staying with a relative in Granite City and driving to school at CHS.
The Maryville Library is located at 8 Schiber Court. The library’s hours are 9 a.m. – 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
The 2-year-old boy wears size 6 diapers, 3T clothes and size 7 shoes. One 17-year-old girl wears size 9 1/2 shoes, 13 or large pants and size large shirts. The other 17-year-old girl wears size 7 1/2 shoes, 7/8 pants and medium or large shirts. The father wears 36/34 pants and XXL shirts.
Kyrouac said dryer fires are somewhat common. Although it is uncertain exactly what caused the dryer fire Tuesday, a buildup of lent can restrict airflow and cause fires, Kyrouac said.
For insurance purposes, the assistant chief suggested that everyone take a video of the contents of their home and store the video in a safe place.
“Sometimes you may forget everything you have,” Kyrouac said. “If you have it on video it makes it easy for you and your insurance company.”