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posted: 3/30/2013 2:28 PM

Neighbors help family whose home was gutted by fire

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  • West Chicago firefighters battle a house fire Thursday on Alamance Drive in West Chicago.

      West Chicago firefighters battle a house fire Thursday on Alamance Drive in West Chicago.
    Daniel White | Staff Photographer


Cornerstone Lakes in West Chicago is a quiet area where many residents know each other, having lived there since the neighborhood was built more than a decade ago.

So it was no surprise that when one of their own needed help, the neighborhood quickly responded.

"We were standing there watching the fire and we all said, 'What can I do,'" said Dawn Klott, who lives on the 2400 block of Alamance Drive across the street from the family whose house was gutted Thursday afternoon.

By Thursday evening, Klott and another neighbor had distributed about 100 fliers asking for gift cards, cash, dog and cat food and other everyday supplies to help the family through the chaotic time.

The response was immediate and included clothing, toiletries, kitty litter, bowls for the pets, and other items.

Klott said Friday night she has known the family for nine years. The mother and four kids ranging in age from 13 to 21, along with two dogs and cats, escaped without serious injury.

"She's a good friend and I (would) want someone to do that for me," said Klott. "She was wearing shorts yesterday and I wanted to give her my pants."

Firefighters were dispatched at 12:24 p.m. and found flames and heavy smoke coming from the two-story home in the northwest part of the city.

"By the time I got my jacket, they were out in front watching it," Klott said.

The fast moving fire gutted the home. The cause had not been determined as of Friday evening.

Anyone wishing to make a donation should call Klott at (630) 513-5304 or Bonnie at (630) 584-5093.

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