Christmas Day fire damages southeast side home


A family still rebuilding from an earlier tragedy finds itself rebuilding again after fire tore through their home on Christmas Day.

Firefighters were called to the 2400 block of South Audubon Road just before noon for the report of a residence fire.

Family members and a family friend, who resides at the house, were at church when neighbors noticed smoke pouring from the home and called 911.  

Firefighters arrived on the scene to find heavy fire coming from the roof and began an interior attack. Two IFD tanker were dispatched to the scene to provide water because this area does not have hydrants.

There were no injuries but two pets in the home at the time of the fire, a dog and a snake, did not survive.

As firefighters attacked the blaze and performed interior searches, other firefighters grabbed what was the left under the family Christmas tree and brought the un-opened presents outside. According to the owner, the family was in the middle of opening the gifts, when they left for church and planned to finish when they got home.

This family is no stranger to tragedy as their house was leveled by a tornado in 2002. The family told firefighters that they had almost finished the re-build but were still waiting on some exterior brick that was on back order. Now, they will have to start over but they do have insurance and are thankful no one was injured.

The family will stay with friends for the time being. Damage to the home is estimated to be $100,000 and the fire is believed to have started in the laundry room. The family is not sure what started the fire in the laundry room but told firefighters that it could have been a space heater.