Marengo community continues relief efforts after explosion

Days after a fiery house explosion rocked a Marengo neighborhood, the community is continuing its efforts to collect donations and raise money for the residents affected.

Churches, restaurants and neighbors are offering free meals throughout the week, and several Marengo businesses and organizations are donating their services and holding their own fundraisers to support the families whose homes were destroyed.

More than 1,300 people have joined a Facebook page created by resident Nicole Laegeler to organize information about relief efforts. Group members are encouraged to contact the city of Marengo at (815) 568-7112 for specific information on how they can help.

The M.O.R.E. Center, a Marengo nonprofit at 829 Greenlee St., has been collecting donations all week. Though food, clothing and household goods are no longer needed, the organization is still collecting gift cards and monetary donations.

Checks can be made out to M.O.R.E. and designated "Marengo Disaster Fund." For more information, contact the M.O.R.E. Center at (815) 568-7950.

Marengo First Assembly of God is also raising money through its community relief fund. Donations can be sent to the church at 22817 W. Grant Highway, texted to 84321, or made online website at

From 5 to 10 a.m. Friday, Star 105.5 FM is hosting a live show at McDonald's, 200 W. Grant Highway, Marengo, to promote the community's relief efforts. Red Salvation Army kettles will also be placed at that establishment and the seven other McDonald's locations owned by the Singleton family in Huntley, Algonquin, Carpentersville, Fox River Grove, Genoa and Hampshire.

The Salvation Army of McHenry County has been offering food, supplies and services to the families affected by the explosion, as well as first responders, according to a news release. The organization is also accepting cash donations at its Crystal Lake location, 290 W. Crystal Lake Ave., or online at

A YouCaring page has been created for the St. Clair family, who lost all their belongings when their house exploded Sunday morning while they were on vacation. The online fundraiser garnered more than $6,800 as of Thursday afternoon.

Additionally, a GoFundMe page for the Keefer family, whose house next door was also destroyed after the blast, raised more than $9,000 in one day. Checks payable to "Keefer Family Benefit Fund" are also being accepted through a special fund established at Prairie State Bank in Marengo.

  The properties most affected by Sunday's fiery explosion in Marengo are surrounded by temporary fencing. Debris that littered the neighboring yards and streets has been cleaned up. John Starks/
  Days after a fiery house explosion in Marengo, some neighbors still are offering refreshments for workers and those affected by the blast. John Starks/
  Several homes remain uninhabitable and fenced off days after a house explosion in Marengo. John Starks/
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