Chicago Family Loses Everything in Tragic Fire Amid Winter Storm

A Chicago family lost everything they own in a fire on Dec. 30, 2020. No one was seriously injured in the blaze — two adults and two children were taken to local hospitals and released after treatment.

Chicago Sun-Times reports indicate the Chicago Fire Department responded to the blaze on the 6800 block of South Perry Avenue, at 8:40 p.m. CT. The flames were extinguished by 9:30.

fireIt was a cold night; the National Weather Service in Chicago posted a photo of the forecast on December 29. The Tweet indicates temperatures on the night of the fire was expected to be a brisk 18-29 degrees with a wintry mix of freezing rain, freezing drizzle, or sleet.

Tawanda Sterling, an intern at Saint Agatha’s News School, reports she was in her bedroom when her youngest son came running in yelling, “the house is on fire, the house is on fire.” She quickly grabbed her sons and fled.

A neighbor offered her assistance and took the boys while she banged on doors in the building, letting everyone know there was a fire.

She ran back into her apartment to rescue her cat and suffered smoke damage. Sterling, one of the adults taken to the hospital, was not released until late the following day.

Fortunately, since she has family members in the Chicago area, Sterling and her children are displaced but safe, “we are staying at my mom’s,” she explained during a phone interview on Jan. 2, 2021.

A GoFundMe page was set up to assist the family with restarting their lives:

My family lost their home on Wednesday, December 30th due to a fire that broke out. Several families were displaced. We lost everything. I have 3 sons-2 toddlers and one teen. We’ll need to replace everything. Please help us if you can. Thank you.

St. Agatha’s News School staff and fellow interns pray Sterling, her family, others displaced in the fire remain safe and can quickly regain some normalcy in their lives.

Written by Cathy Milne-Ware

Interview: Tawanda Sterling by phone, Jan. 2, 2021
GoFundMe: Tawanda Sterling Fire Restoration
Chicago Sun-Times: 2 children among 4 hurt in Englewood fire

Featured and Top Image Courtesy of C. Holmes’ Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image Courtesy of Paul Morgan’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

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