Family vows to rebuild after fire destroys home

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MILLSTADT, IL - A family of five narrowly escaped an early Wednesday morning fire that completely engulfed their Millstadt home.

It happened shortly before 5 am in the 6100 block of Floraville Road.

The fire spared not a single item or personal belongings in its way.

According to Millstadt Fire Chief, Kurt Pellman, the fire started in the back of the house and ripped through the roof.

He said either a propane gas tank exploding or firework debris may have caused the fire.

Pellman said that a loud boom awakened the five people inside of the house. He said all of them including a child ran out as quickly as possible.

No one was hurt.

An elderly woman inside of the house required some assistance getting out from a Millstadt police officer who happened to be in the area.

The emergency sirens forced Joanne Pisel, who lives across the street, to jump out of bed.

"I woke up and looked out the window and there are all kinds of red lights," she said, "it's like a movie you know, when you see some of these scenes."

The homeowner, Joli Hern who wasn't there at the time of fire said she is thankful that her family got out alive.

"It was close to them not making out," she said, "I can't even be sad. I am just so thankful they made it out of there."

Hern said that the reality of the tragedy is hitting her hard but she and her family are determined to rebuild.

"We are a close family and we always help each other out," Hern continued, "I have ton of friends and I'm trying to stay positive and I know everything will be ok."

The American Red Cross is currently assisting the family.

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