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Fire guts Earlville home

Resident: 'These things happen, you roll with the punches'

Fire caused severe damage Tuesday to a home on Church Street in Earlville. No one was injured.
Fire caused severe damage Tuesday to a home on Church Street in Earlville. No one was injured.

Two cats died in a fire that gutted an Earlville home Tuesday morning, but no people were injured.

Tom MacDonald and his adult grandson, William Wilson, who both lived at 110 E. Church St., were outside the house, working on a flatbed trailer in the driveway, when they noticed a bedroom was ablaze at about 10:35 a.m. The fire soon blew out a window on the room, with flames shooting out.

They managed to rescue dogs from the house, but not two cats.

“I tried to go in, but it was a wall of smoke,” Wilson said.

MacDonald, who is an Air Force veteran, said he wanted to crawl inside, but the fire and smoke were overwhelming.

Earlville firefighters were called to the scene and had the fire under control in about one hour, said Fire Chief Larry Todd. Firefighters from Leland, Mendota, Paw Paw and Shabbona helped. An investigator from the state fire marshal’s office was examining the scene Tuesday afternoon. Wilson said he suspected the fire was electrical in origin.

The American Red Cross came to the property, while the fire was still burning, to aid MacDonald and his displaced family, giving them a debit card to take care of expenses.

“Everyone has been wonderful,” MacDonald pointed out.

MacDonald, who moved to the one-story brick house four years ago from the Leland area, was philosophical as firefighters were putting away equipment in mid-afternoon.

“These things happen. You roll with the punches,” MacDonald said. “That’s the way I was raised.”

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