A fundraiser was started to help an Antioch family after a woman died and a juvenile was injured following a house fire Monday morning.
Amanda Rauguth organized a GoFundMe for her mother, Melissa Muehlnickel, and her younger brother, Stephen, who were both injured after their house caught on fire in the 26300 block of West Forest Court in unincorporated Antioch.
The Antioch Fire Department and Lake County Sheriff’s Office responded around 9:07 a.m. Monday to the residence for a report of a structure fire.
Two residents were reportedly trapped inside the home, according to Antioch Fire Chief Jon Cokefair.
Firefighters searched the residence and rescued Muehlnickel.
Stephen was able to evacuate the residence prior to fire department arrival with burns to his feet.
The two were transported to Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville for treatment.
Rauguth said in an update on Monday that her mother was in critical condition and 65% of her body was burned.
Muehlnickel was sedated and put on a ventilator. She had brain damage due to her injuries, Rauguth said.
On Tuesday, Rauguth said her father, Howard, gave the hospital permission to stop life support to Muehlnickel.
Rauguth called her mother a strong woman, but said she “wouldn’t want to suffer in pain or be a vegetable so we are making this choice based on what she would want.”
Stephen sustained second-degree burns and he faces “a long road of recovery.”
The community helped the family cover clothing on Monday, and Rauguth said donations will be used to help her younger brother recover, pay medical bills and organize funeral arrangements.
Nearly 100 donors raised over $9,000 for the Muehlnickels as of Wednesday evening.
Choppers Bar and Grill, located at 26375 Route 173 in Antioch, will take in-person donations for Rauguth’s father.
Fundraising events will be planned at Choppers Bar and Grill and at Bootleggers Bar & Grill, 25491 West Old Grass Lake Road in Antioch, Rauguth said. Muehlnickel was a cook at Bootleggers.
Rauguth started a new GoFundMe to help with preparations for Muehlnickel’s celebration of life, which will be held at Bootleggers on July 9 starting at 12 p.m.
The event is open to the public, Rauguth said.
No firefighters were injured at Monday’s fire and investigators, including the Illinois State Fire Marshal, were called to the scene due to the severity of the injuries.
The fire was extinguished in around 20 minutes, Cokefair said.
The house did not appear to have working smoke detectors.
Cokefair encourages residents to have working smoke detectors to provide early warning in case of fire.
“We really encourage people – smoke detectors save lives. Make sure you have your smoke detectors in your house,” Cokefair said.