“You can’t describe it,” Kristin Stephenson said. “It’s unbelievable; unbelievable.”
Montana Stephenson, an O’Fallon police officer, said he saw the flames close to 5 p.m. while leaving home headed to work.
“I looked out the back window! It caught my eye, this glowing,” Montana said. “I didn’t even see smoke, I just saw a glow.”
The father of four said he told his wife Kristin to grab to the kids, call 9-1-1, and get out.
In seconds, Stevenson recalled the flames taking over his home.
“I saw it coming through the vents,” he said. “So it spread very quickly.”
Now one day after the fire and just days before Christmas, the family of six is left rummaging through what’s left trying to save as much as possible.
“A lot of the clothes that were in the drawers in some of the kiddos’ room and our room is probably salvageable,” he said. “It will probably have to go through a whole process of getting the smell out; but our nine-year-old daughter, her room is the worst because it was probably closest to the fire.”
Though their home is a total loss, the fire also ignited their support system. A GoFundMe account has raised more than $25,000 in less than 24 hours.
Some family and friends came by to help with the cleanup and show the Stephensons support during this challenging time.
“I’ve had the opportunity to bless people on a daily basis doing what I do,” he said. “It’s just one of those time when I need to accept it being bless, but now after this experience I’m going to bless even more because what’s been shown to me!”