Donations sought for family displaced by house fire near Crystal Lake

A Crystal Lake church is raising funds to help a family of seven people displaced after a Tuesday morning fire near that town.

An explosion and ensuing blaze razed a home in the 6000 block of Blue Court in unincorporated Crystal Lake, officials said.

Authorities estimated the damage at $300,000.

Red Cross volunteers are helping the Polk family, which includes two young children, with immediate needs including food, shelter, and emotional support, a spokeswoman said.

Members of the First United Methodist Church of Crystal Lake are collecting donations for the family, said Scott Field, one of the pastors.

"Our primary connection is through one of the sons, John, who was part of our youth group here," Field said. "The Red Cross is probably matchless in their ability to deal with an acute situation. They are providing two nights and three days of hotel support and meals for them. We really are putting together financial support."

In the haste to escape the fire, the family lost cellphones and numerous things that need to be replaced quickly, Field said.

"They do have one vehicle available to them," which belongs to one of the sons who had left for work before the fire erupted, Field said.

Nine people were living in the home, according to sources.

An explosion in the home's basement at 6:34 a.m. forced the residents to evacuate before firefighters arrived to find the home engulfed in flames, fire officials said.

One resident was treated at the scene, then taken to a hospital with unknown injuries, authorities said.

No firefighters were injured.

The state fire marshal was notified and the cause of the fire is under investigation, authorities said.

Donations for the family may be mailed to the Polk Family Fund, in care of First United Methodist Church of Crystal Lake, 236 W. Crystal Lake Ave., Crystal Lake IL 60014, or at

"We will update on the Web page as needs become further identified," Field said.

  Crews work to clean up a house fire Tuesday on Blue Court in incorporated Crystal Lake. The blaze started just after 6:30 a.m. when a small explosion was reported. Brian Hill/
  One resident was taken to the hospital with undisclosed injuries after an explosion and fire early Tuesday near Crystal Lake. Brian Hill/
  Fire officials said an explosion led to a fire Tuesday morning in incorporated Crystal Lake. The home's occupants evacuated before the fire department arrived. Damage is estimated at $300,000. Brian Hill/
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