CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — A group is asking for the community’s help after a fire destroyed their friend’s home and everything he owned. It happened on Sunday near Hedge Road and Bradley Avenue in Champaign.
The fire started in the dryer and engulfed the house and garage. Jeff Gilchrist was trying to put the fire out but it was out of control within 10 minutes. Gilchrist, his roommate, and his dog got out safe, but the flames were devastating.
The house, garage and two cars were destroyed. His food truck was parked far enough away that it was saved. This fire is the latest in a list of tragedies for Gilchrist. Within the last 18 months he’s lost his brother and his mother.
Now his friends are showing what it means to have a community behind him. They posted on Facebook and started an online fundraiser to get donations. They’ve already gotten a lot of support.
“Just helping with whatever they can help–whatever they were touched in the heart. That’s what happening here, and I love it in a community of– I really call it help. Helping everyone love people. Just people helping people when they’re in need. And our communities do a great job with that,” said one his friends, Michael Namoff.
Right now, Gilchrist is staying in a hotel and is said to be in need of everything.