Wilmington family in need of holiday miracle after fire destroys home


WILMINGTON, Ill.  — One Wilmington family is seeking help for the holidays after a fire destroyed their home. 

Suzanne Skeens said her parents almost didn’t make it out of their burning home. 

“Everything they had is gone,” Skeens said.

Ron and Carol Wilczak’s house in the Shadow Lakes community in Wilmington caught fire on Dec. 2.

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“We’re heartbroken for them because they’re starting over at 72 and we really want them to be able to rebuild and have a home of their own again,” Skeens said.

The couple suffered smoke inhalation and burns but survived.

Ron and Carol Wilczak (Photo: Provided)

The cause of the fire is still unknown. 

“They think there might have been some kind of electrical cause, but nothing’s been found yet,” Skeens said.

Skeen’s parents struggled to get out of the burning home because of a tricky floor plan but she hopes other families take the time to go over fire safety plans, especially this time of year.

“When our kids were little, we always had a fire safety plan. But you don’t think about that with your floor plan,” she said.

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The family said homeowners’ insurance would cover some of the loss but not everything. A GoFundMe covering additional expenses has raised nearly $5,000.

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