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Lakeview Residents Faced With Fire 'Awestruck' By $38,000 In Donations

By Ariel Cheung | May 18, 2016 6:23am
 A fire in the 3300 block of North Marshfield on Monday, May 16, 2016.
A fire in the 3300 block of North Marshfield on Monday, May 16, 2016.
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Colin Boyle

LAKEVIEW — It took seven years for Danny Burke to build his record collection. He lost it all in just minutes.

The 200 albums by artists like Radiohead, St. Vincent and the Beatles burned up in a three-alarm fire Monday that spread to six buildings in the 3300 block of North Marshfield Avenue, near the intersection of Lincoln, Ashland and Belmont.

Burke, among the 30 Lakeview residents who lost their homes in the fire, was at his parents' house when he saw his two-story apartment building on the news.

"It was so surreal, and I had to process that," said Burke, who initially doubted his apartment was involved in the fire. "But it even had my exact address" on the screen.

Family members have launched GoFundMe campaigns for Burketwo of his three roommates and a neighbor.

In a single day, 258 people raised more than $21,000.

"It definitely brought tears to my eyes a couple times today," Burke said.

Friends, strangers and anonymous donors are reaching out to help those affected, with another $17,000 raised to help five others.

"All of us have been awestruck over the amount of love and support we've received," said Nicole Pain, 25. She said she and her boyfriend have been stunned to see old high school friends and graduate professors among the donors.

No residents were injured in the fire, although a firefighter was taken to the hospital with a burn on the arm, the Chicago Fire Department said. The injured firefighter was in good condition.

Chicago firefighters spent more than an hour dousing the fire in the 3300 block of North Marshfield Avenue on Monday. [Supplied/Chicago Fire Department]

The residents of 3338 N. Marshfield Ave. haven't been able to return to their apartments yet to see if anything can be salvaged, they said. The department is still investigating the cause of the fire.

Pain, who said their home was a "total loss," has been channeling her grief with planning, spending the day helping boyfriend David Cueman replace his driver's license and other essentials, since Cueman ran out of the apartment with nothing but their dog.

RELATED: Large, Smoky Fire Breaks Out Near Lincoln And Belmont in Lakeview

Cueman was the only roommate inside their second-story apartment at 3338 N. Marshfield Ave. on Monday. Cueman went to investigate a banging sound at the back of the house, Pain said. When he saw flames rising through their sliding glass door, he ran.

With a friend on vacation this week, the couple has somewhere to stay for a few days. And now, the roommates have a way to move on.

"I didn't have renter's insurance, and that would have been a slow rebuild" without the GoFundMe campaigns, Burke said. "It just makes it way easier. I'm eternally grateful."

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