Find Out How to Help the Frankfort Square Fire Victims
No one was injured from the Brickstone Drive fire that gutted a house and damaged another. Neighbors and others are aiding those homeowners. Learn how you can pitch in. Plus, read how a Frankfort Square man stopped another fire from spreading Saturday.
One house was destroyed and a neighboring residence suffered extensive damage from a fire that started late Wednesday night in the 8300 block of Brickstone Drive in Frankfort Square. The residents escaped their burning homes, and there were no injuries.
As of Thursday afternoon, the cause of the fire had not been determined, said Assistant Chief Larry Rauch of the Frankfort Fire Protection District. Investigators were looking at a couple different ways the blaze could have started, he said, adding that fire's origins weren't suspicious.
Firefighters from Frankfort and five area departments—including Mokena, New Lenox, Tinley Park, Manhattan and Matteson—responded to 911 calls about the fire at around 11:48 p.m. Wednesday, May 23, Rauch said. By the time firefighters arrived, flames had engulfed the two-story house where the fire started, he said. Strong winds pushed the flames back into the house, and the radiant heat melted the siding of the neighboring house to the west, setting it on fire, Rauch added. The fire also caused a gas leak on the block that Nicor Gas workers had to repair, Rauch said.
It took firefighters about a half hour to get the blaze under control and 45 minutes to an hour to extinguish it, Rauch said. Crews began to leave the scene around 3:45 a.m. Thursday, May 24. The Nicor workers were completing their repairs to the gas main at about the same time, Rauch said.
Rauch estimated damaged to the gutted house to be around $340,000 to $350,000, which includes the loss of the contents in the home. The neighboring residence sustained fire and water damage estimated at $50,000 to $60,000, Rauch said.
Helping the Victims of the Fire
Neighbor Kimberly DeLude Quigley will be collecting clothing for John and Arley Francke, the couple who lived in the destroyed house. Clothing donations can be dropped off at 8304 Brickstone Dr. Any items that don't fit will be donated to other organizations. E-mail Quigley at email@example.com for more information or if you need someone to pick up your donations.
Deer Creek Christian Church in University Park has a free clothes ministry for those in need called The Closet. Karin Camilleri, the church's worship and program director who also oversees The Closet, said she can mobilize her team to help anyone affected by the fire.
Anyone with information about specific needs of the people involved, as well as information such as clothing sizes, should call Camilleri at (708) 872-5226.
Another Example of a Neighbor Helping Over a Fire
A Frankfort Square man used the water from his swimming pool to put out a fire that started on a neighbor's deck, stopping the flames from reaching the house and causing damage, Sun-Times Media reported.
Keith Donabauer extinguished the fire by filling 5-gallon buckets with pool water and carrying them to the backyard of Avis Smith-Rud’s house in the 20200 block of Rosewood Court, the report stated.
A Frankfort Fire Protection District official told Sun-Times Media that Donabauer's quick thinking stopped the fire from destroying more than just Smith-Rud's deck, the report continued.
LENDING A HAND TO THOSE IN NEED: Do you have information about any efforts to help the families affected by the fire? Are you organizing a donation drive to gather clothes and other items? Share what you know or what you're doing to help out with Frankfort Patch readers who also want to pitch in. Here's how: