Homeowners thank community for support after fire

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FISHER, Ill. (WCIA) — A woman is thanking everyone who helped her and her family after her home and daycare burned down.

It happened last November on Leischner Drive off Sangamon Street. Everyone made it out safely. And now, her family is moving into their brand new house at that same spot. She says she wouldn’t be in her new home today if it wasn’t for her community.

“It was terrifying. We had to get the kids out,” said Mary Blythe. Blythe has no trouble recalling the day she lost her house. “At some point I grabbed the fire extinguisher and tried to put it out, and then I realized this is not going to work with a fire extinguisher.”

Eight children were in the daycare inside when it caught on fire at 9:30 a.m. on November 2, 2018. Fire crews say it was likely started by electrical issues, but they may never know the official cause.

“That was what we were most concerned about was getting the kids out.”

Blythe and the kids all got out safely, and she says it’s the outpouring of support afterward she’ll be forever grateful for.

“We were overwhelmed with donations. We had toys for the daycare children. We had cots. A woman donated pillows.”

The community even started a search party to look for Blythe’s dog, Ellie, who ran away after the fire.

“Our land lady spent hours looking for the dog and then gave us a place to live and gave us a live trap to catch Ellie.”

Now, in her first days in her new home, Blythe says she doesn’t think she would be here without all of that support.

“We were so thankful. And there’s no way that we can ever fully express our gratitude,” said Blythe. “The high school kids say Fisher strong and you know, we’re the bunnies. And the bunnies came together, and they did more for us than we can ever express.”

Blythe wants to invite everyone over for a lasagna dinner once they’re all settled into the new home.

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