EAST ST. LOUIS, IL – Workers stumbled on what they considered on a life-and-death heat emergency in East St. Louis: a woman trying to survive in the worst of conditions.
They're now on a mission to do something about it.
Allen Williams owns Ray's Excavation, a home repair company.
He and his crew met a woman trying to keep cool at a McDonald’s.
She told them her home needed repairs and a cleanup.
They’re now worried, she may not live through the heat wave.
When Williams and his crew saw the house on 24th Street, they couldn’t just drive by.
The collapsing front porch roof may be the least of the problems.
There’s no clear path ‘into’ or ‘out of’ the home through the garbage and clutter that surround it.
There’s no running water, no electricity. But there is a resident.
“I came back to check on her,” Williams said. “She came out from the back of the house stepping out over all the trash. She was just dripping wet. I said, ‘oh my gosh, you cannot live here’. She was just soaking wet.”
That was around 10 o’clock Tuesday morning.
The woman asked not to be identified. She told Fox 2 things fell into disrepair after her mother died in April of 2016; she lives alone on a fixed income in what has been the family home for more than 50 years.
Williams is putting together a team to at least clean the place up, see about fixing the roof, and going from there.
He’s looking for help.
“It’s from the heart. I couldn’t just leave it. I couldn’t afford to do the job. I couldn’t leave it. I came back to try to make some type of way I can help her,” Williams said. “We need dumpsters. We have rakes but we need more. We have more manpower we’re going to put on it because no one should live like this, no one…if I stayed in a city for 50 years, I’d want them to do something for me…this is a life we’re looking at.”
He hopes to start work this week.
St. Clair County emergency services and East St. Louis code enforcement are also stepping in to help.
If you want to help, a GoFundMe page has been set-up.