Family returns to Rantoul after house burns down


RANTOUL, Ill. (WCIA)–One family used to live in Rantoul before moving up north to Matteson.
But after a fire destroyed their house and everything inside, they’re returning to their old home town.

Chelsea Francois says her mother woke up around midnight to the sound of crackling. She first thought her cat was running around in the kitchen, but soon realized a fire had begun to spread downstairs.

Firefighters said they believe the cause was from a faulty wire. Her parents were able to escape the fire, but they lost everything, including their dog and cat.

While the family tries to find a new living situation, others in Rantoul are rallying behind Francois’ family for support. Francois said she’s been overwhelmed with messages from people looking to donate clothes and money.

Dis-N-Dat Barbeque, a restaurant in town, is even offering some free meals to the family once they’re in town. They said, “that’s what community is for,” and the least they can do while they try getting back on their feet. Francois says her family is grateful for the town’s love and support.

“It’s amazing, we don’t talk to very many people but we’ve lived here our whole lives, it’s just awesome that everybody came to help when we need it,” Francois said.

As of right now, Francois says her family is staying in a hotel room provided by the red cross.
She says they’ll move back down to Rantoul on Friday.

The family is accepting clothes sized 5X and XL, and pants sizes in 2X and 42L 39W. They can be dropped off at 705 E. Embassy in Rantoul. The family is also in the process of setting up a GoFundMe.

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