MORGAN PARK — A GoFundMe effort has been launched for a Morgan Park family who saw their home consumed by fire Friday afternoon.
The effort was launched on the same day that the home at 11661 S. Western Ave was severely damaged by a fire that appears to have started in an attached rear garage.
The online fundraiser seeks $5,000 for the Griffin family, and $2,425 had already been raised by Monday morning. Rob James is identified as the organizer of the effort but was unable to be reached for comment.
"My co-worker received a call from her 12 year old son around lunch time today saying the house was on fire. An hour later she learned that her family (3 young children and husband) lost all of their belongings. I'm sure they have insurance but until they are reimbursed, they have to purchase. ... clothes ... food ... toys, etc.," James said as part of the fundraiser's narrative.
Clissold Elementary School in Morgan Park called attention to the GoFundMe effort on its website Monday. The school is also collecting gift cards, school clothes, shoes, regular clothes and other items for the family in its main office.
"The immediate outcry of support has been inspirational and a true testament for our care and compassion for one another within our school community. Thank you for everyone’s generosity and support," the Clissold website says.
The school lists the family as Vince and Alicia Griffin, along with their three children Vince, Allen and Kai. The children are in eighth grade, sixth grade and four years old.
On Friday, Vince Griffin stood outside his home as the Chicago Fire Department battled the fire. He said no one was hurt in the fire, though the family dog was missing and feared dead. Griffin said his sons were home when the fire started and called 911.
Traffic was blocked in both directions on Western Avenue as firefighters battled the blaze. Roughly 10 fire trucks arrived on the scene along with several ambulances and other emergency personnel.
Griffin said there was an electric heater in the garage, which he theorized might have started the fire. A fire department chief on the scene would not comment on the cause of the fire, beyond saying it was "all under investigation."
For more neighborhood news, listen to DNAinfo Radio here.