Neighbors and local schools have begun collecting money, clothing and other items to aid a Brookfield family, displaced from their home due to a fire that started in the basement on the evening of Feb. 20.
Emergency personnel responded to 3706 Maple Ave. at 5:24 p.m. and saw smoke pouring from the rear door of the two-story frame house. A pair of Brookfield fire engines was joined early on by a firefighting crew from LaGrange, which ran a hose line to the basement, where they extinguished the fire.
Another team of firefighters brought a hose line up to the first floor, but, according to Brookfield Fire Chief Patrick Lenzi, there was no need to use the hose there because the fire was contained to the basement.
When emergency personnel arrived, the four people — a mom and her three children, who were inside the home at the time of the fire, and their pets — already had evacuated and were standing outside the home. No one was injured.
According to the Brookfield Police Department report, the woman who lived at the home said she smelled something burning in the basement and went downstairs to check on it. She reportedly observed a small fire in the clothes dryer, but her attempts to extinguish the fire were unsuccessful.
Lenzi said the basement of the home sustained extensive heat, smoke and water damage, while the first and second floors sustained smoke damage. The family reportedly is staying with relatives at this time.
In the meantime, there are efforts under way to collect money and items for the family. A neighbor, Felicia Pfluger, has started a collection effort on social media. The family needs the following items, according to Pfluger: X-small and medium women’s tops, size 0 and 6 ladies’ pants, size 6 and 8 women’s shoes, men’s medium shirts, 32-30 pants, size 10 women’s shoes (rugged), size 10 boys’ clothes, dog food, food, hygiene supplies, detergent and household supplies.
Items can be dropped off at Pfluger’s house at 3636 Raymond Ave. in Brookfield.
In addition, money is being collected by the members of the teachers union and parent organizations at schools in Brookfield-LaGrange Park Elementary School District 95, where two of the children attend school.
A more formal donation process may also be instituted, said Ryan Evans, principal of S.E. Gross Middle School.