The Annexstad family (pictured right) was uninjured after a fire destroyed their two-story house in the 39300 block of North Cedar Crest Drive in unincorporated Lake Villa Tuesday afternoon. | Photo – Left: Joe Shuman/J. Shuman Photography (2024); Photo – Right: Provided

Neighbors are raising money for a family who is “devasted and overwhelmed” after they lost everything when their home became engulfed in flames near Lake Villa.

The Lake Villa Fire Protection District and Lake County Sheriff’s Office responded around 12:15 p.m. Tuesday to the 39300 block of North Cedar Crest Drive in unincorporated Lake Villa for a structure fire.

Firefighters arrived to find two structures – a detached garage and a two-story house – engulfed in flames.

Lake Villa Fire Protection District Battalion Chief Dane Costello told Lake and McHenry County Scanner that all the residents were able to evacuate.

A detached garage and a two-story house caught on fire in the 39300 block of North Cedar Crest Drive in unincorporated Lake Villa Tuesday afternoon. | Photo: Remi Merrill

Fire officials believe the garage was the first to catch fire, spreading to the nearby house.

A large column of smoke was seen in the distance.

Crews conducted defensive fire operations the entire time but did enter the structure at least once, Costello said.

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A fire ladder truck was also deployed to attack the fire from above.

Firefighters battle a three-alarm fire that destroyed a garage and two-story house in the 39300 block of North Cedar Crest Drive in unincorporated Lake Villa Tuesday afternoon. | Photo: Remi Merrill

Water tenders were called to the scene because the area does not have fire hydrants.

Costello was relieved that the winds happened to be blowing from the west to the east where there were no other houses downwind.

“Had it been blowing in the other direction, it probably would’ve caught the adjacent house on fire,” Costello said.

The Mutual Aid Box Alarm System (MABAS) was activated to the third alarm level, bringing apparatus from fire departments throughout Lake and McHenry counties.

Some fire apparatus on the fourth and fifth alarm levels responded to the scene to backfill for the previous alarm levels.

Firefighters battle a three-alarm fire that destroyed a garage and two-story house in the 39300 block of North Cedar Crest Drive in unincorporated Lake Villa Tuesday afternoon. | Photo: Remi Merrill

Costello said no one was injured but the two structures were a “total loss.” Firefighters remained on the scene until around 5:35 p.m.

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A damage estimate or cause of fire was not released.

Nextdoor neighbors Jamie Seputis and Toshiko Vickers say the Annexstad family and their pet are safe but their home and belongings were completely destroyed.

The family is devasted and overwhelmed by the tragic loss, the neighbors said.

A GoFundMe account was created to help the family through “this difficult time of uncertainty,” the neighbors said. Nearly $4,000 has been raised in two days.