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Christmas Gifts Saved, Home Destroyed In Fire

Christmas Presents (Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images)

Christmas Presents (Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images)

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HOLIDAY HILLS, Ill. (STMW) – A home in far northwest suburban Holiday Hills will likely be a complete loss from a fire Sunday morning. Fortunately, though, none of the residents of the home were injured in the fire and while they have been displaced from their home, firefighters were able to salvage the family’s Christmas gifts.

The fire started at 7:40 a.m. at an occupied single family home at 2412 Hyde Park Ave., according to McHenry Fire District Deputy Chief Phil Gust. Firefighters had the blaze under control within about 25 to 30 minutes, Fire District Lt. Tom Ruggero said.

The residents escaped unharmed and the fire was elevated to a second alarm because of the extreme cold, according to Gust. “Surprisingly,” Ruggero said, “we didn’t have any operational issues at all,” such as trouble getting water on the fire because of the cold. A total of 37 firefighters fought the fire at the approximately 1,500 square foot, bi-level home, Ruggero said.

There was “extensive damage to the house,” Ruggero said, and it is believed that the home could be a total loss from the fire. Firefighters were, however, able to save the family’s Christmas gifts, he said. “We salvaged a number of packages from under the Christmas tree. We try to salvage as much of the personal property as possible.” He noted that some of the packages were damp from the water used to fight the fire but a good number of the gifts were recovered intact.

The cause of the fire was not yet determined as of about 5:30 p.m. Sunday but Ruggero said the fire, which originated in the rear of the home, was thought to be electrical in nature, according to a preliminary investigation. The fire may have begun with a high intensity reading lamp on which was left on, he said.

Eight family members received assistance from the American Red Cross, according to Red Cross spokeswoman Martha Carlos. This assistance included money for food, clothing, shoes and help with finding shelter, Carlos said.

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