The community is raising money for a mother and son who were displaced from their apartment after a fire that left it a total loss and their two dogs dead in Crystal Lake last weekend.
The Crystal Lake Fire Rescue Department responded around 12:24 p.m. Sunday to a report of a structure fire at the Skyridge Club Apartments in the 1300 block of Skyridge Drive.
Crystal Lake Fire Rescue Department Chief Paul DeRaedt said firefighters arrived within six minutes and found flames and smoke showing from an apartment.
The fire was coming from a second-floor apartment in a two-story building that has eight units.
The occupants of the apartment were not home at the time of the fire, DeRaedt said.
The residents of the remaining seven units had evacuated safely.
One resident complained of smoke inhalation and was treated and released at the scene.
The Mutual Aid Box Alarm System (MABAS) was activated to the first alarm level to bring additional fire departments to the scene.
The fire was declared under control around 1:01 p.m., more than 30 minutes after it began.
The apartment where the fire started was deemed a total loss, DeRaedt said.
Three adjacent apartments sustained smoke and water damage.
All four apartments were deemed uninhabitable until repairs can be made. A total of eight occupants were displaced.
The four other remaining apartments were habitable and the residents were allowed to return to their apartments because the building was constructed with a fire separation wall dividing the building in half.
DeRaedt said the building was not equipped with a fire sprinkler system or a monitored fire alarm system.
The building was equipped with smoke detectors in the units.
Damage to the apartment building is estimated at $200,000.
No firefighters were injured but two dogs died in the fire, DeRaedt said.
A close friend of the family whose apartment caught fire said the mother and son lost all of their belongings and are “absolutely devasted” about the deaths of their dogs, Lulu and Layla.
Kim Lietzow and her son, Colin, who attends Huntley High School, woke up that morning and said goodbye to their dogs before leaving for the ice rink for a hockey game.
They learned their apartment was on fire while on the way home from the game.
“Kim and Colin just got settled into their apartment a few months ago, only to have everything they own taken from them in the fire. It was a total loss and everything is gone,” friends of the family said.
A GoFundMe created to help the family has raised almost $6,000 from over 80 donors so far.
The cause of the fire is undetermined and under investigation by the Crystal Lake Fire Rescue Department, Crystal Lake Police Department, Algonquin-Lake in the Hills Fire District, Cary Fire District and Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshal.