GODFREY, Ill. – In the midst of the season of giving, a young family in Godfrey, Illinois lost everything. Their presents, clothing, food, and home – all gone in the blink of an eye.
Haley Longo, 26, and Isayah Burnett, 25, were on their way to spend Christmas Eve with family Friday afternoon; ready to indulge in Christmas festivities with their three children. Shortly after their arrival, Burnett received a phone call that completely altered their lives.
“We were with our kids and with our family enjoying our time. We got a call from our friend that was driving by our house who said it looked like something was burning,” said Burnett.
Longo and Burnett rushed back to their home on the 7000 block of Humbert Road only to find their house, and everything inside of it, burning away..
The Godfrey Fire Department released a statement saying, in part, “When firefighters arrived on the scene the home had smoke and flames showing… Firefighters were able to get the fire under control quickly, but the home sustained significant damage and is unhabitable.”
Although firefighters are still investigating the cause of the fire, Longo says they believe it was caused by a faulty outlet found in the kitchen near the stove.
Burnett and Longo are relieved that their family is safe, but the house they once called a home is gone for good, including all of their belongings.
Burnette said, “Our son actually seen the house and started crying. This is Christmas Eve, and he’s just worried about where we’re going to live.”
Their son is only six years old. He and his two sisters, ages two and one, sadly won’t be having the Christmas they wished for. A house that was filled with presents, lights, and a Christmas tree is now covered in ash, debris, and charcoal walls. That’s enough to take the Christmas spirit out of anyone, but hope is still alive.
Longo’s cousin created a GoFundMe for the couple Christmas morning that has already raised nearly $6 thousand in just 11 hours.
Members of the community have started donating children’s clothes to replace the clothes that were lost in the fire.
Family members have extended their home, and the Red Cross has stepped in to help pay for a temporary place to stay once they are ready to take that step.
Longo and Burnett expressed over and over again their gratitude for the outpouring of love. If you would like to help their family through this tough time, you can make a donation to their GoFundMe or contact Haley Longo directly at 618-600-1931.