Over 200 people have helped raise $22,000 for a family who was displaced from their home in Woodstock after a fire that left their two dogs dead.
The Woodstock Fire Rescue District responded around 11:22 a.m. Wednesday to the 1600 block of Woodside Drive in Woodstock for a report of a structure fire.
Firefighters arrived in three minutes and found smoke showing from a single-family residence, Woodstock Deputy Fire Chief Brendan Parker told Lake and McHenry County Scanner.
Firefighters extinguished the fire quickly and it appeared to have originated in the kitchen.
Bystanders, possibly neighbors, had gone into the home prior to the fire department’s arrival and rescued two dogs, Parker said.
The bystanders were trying to revive the dogs — Hank and Maci — by performing CPR.
Firefighters took over care by performing CPR and providing oxygen but the dogs were confirmed to be deceased, Parker said.
No humans or firefighters were injured during the incident. The residents were not home at the time of the fire.
Parker said the cause of the fire is believed to be accidental but remains under investigation.
Woodstock resident Jillian Schoolcraft said the Nissen family lost most of their belongings in the fire.
“Jess and Pat are two people who would give the shirts off their backs to anyone who needed it,” Schoolcraft said.
She created a GoFundMe account that has raised over $22,000 in a day from over 200 donors, surpassing an initial $10,000 goal.
Parker said the Wonder Lake and Huntley fire departments responded to the scene to assist and the Marengo and Crystal Lake fire departments covered calls in Woodstock at the time.
The Woodstock Police Department assisted in the investigation and with road closures.
ComEd remotely shut off power to the residence, which sustained smoke and heat damage throughout the kitchen area, Parker said.
The house was deemed uninhabitable and the investigation remains ongoing.