A local church is taking up collections for a Madison County family who lost their home in a fire over the weekend.
Firefighters were paged out to the home of Damien and Sara Bolen on Rockwell Road, about three-fourths of a mile north of Illinois Route 140 in northeastern Madison County at 6:25 a.m. Friday, Jan. 27, Alhambra Fire Chief Alan Daiber said.
Daiber said firefighters believe the blaze originated near a wood-burning stove located in a sun room in the southwest corner of the house.
“We arrived on the scene and smoke was coming out of the ceiling in the sun room, there. And the wind was not in our favor. It was blowing right into the house,” Daiber said.
Sara Bolen and the couple’s three children were home at the time, but they all got out safely after calling 911, Daiber said.
Grantfork, Highland-Pierron, Hamel, New Douglas, and Olive fire departments were called for mutual aid. Firefighters were on the scene until about noon.
Daiber said the home suffered a substantial amount of damage.
“We dumped a lot of water on it,” he said.
Salem United Church of Christ, where the family attends service, has taken up a collection for them. The church put out a donation jar at its annual sausage supper Saturday and continues to take contributions.
“I’m encouraging people to give gift cards,” said the Rev. Jerry Amiri, Salem UCC senior pastor. “So, that way, the family can get exactly what they need.”
Daiber said the family was able to salvage some belongings from the home.
Amiri said the family has plenty of clothes for the children, two girls and one boy, the eldest of which is in middle school.
Amiri said the family has made living arrangements with family for the time being.
Donations can be dropped off at Salem UCC, 1117 W. North St. in Alhambra. Amiri said those wishing to write a check can make it payable to the church and should write “Bolen family” in the memo line.
“That way, were can make sure it goes where it needs to go,” he said.
To inquire about making a donation, call the church at 618-488-3215.