Excerpts from the ChicagoTribune.com:

Four people were rescued from a burning house early Tuesday morning in a blaze that left 10 people without a home in Elgin.

Amy Bishop was taking her husband to work when a fire started in their two sons’ bedroom around midnight. The boys, Lucas, 14, and Kyle, 12, woke up their sisters, Katrina, 19 and Lindsey, 16.

The girls ran back into their bedroom to get a phone to call 911 and were then trapped by the smoke and fire …  they couldn’t escape so they broke the windows.

Lt. Eric Gurke and Firefighter Guy Blando rescued the girls from the second floor windows. Heavy black smoke was rolling out of the second floor, according to Battalion Chief Terry Bruce.

The children were covered in soot, had smoke inhalation and frostbite, and were taken to Presence Saint Joseph Hospital. The girls had third degree burns but were doing well Tuesday evening.

The family was left without a home, clothing or anything else days before Christmas.

Bishop said the smoke detector did not go off and the apartment had only one exit. Another exit was nailed shut. They had several issues with the landlord including no hot water in the kitchen, and had stopped paying rent. The landlord took them to court and a judge ruled the best thing for everyone was to have the family move, she said. They planned to move out by Jan. 6.

“Honestly, we have nowhere to go. Our families all live out of state and the ones closest have a lot of kids and no space,” Bishop said. “I don’t know where to begin.”

Several family pets were killed in the fire at a house which was divided into two apartments.

Firefighters were called at 12:10 a.m. to the home in the 300 block of Division St. Before firefighters arrived, a downstairs neighbor went to notify the upstairs unit of the blaze and found two children at the top of the stairs. That neighbor took those children out.

The blaze was knocked down in 20 minutes, but the fire left the second floor with extensive fire damage to a rear bedroom plus heat and smoke damage throughout the second floor.

A total of 12 Elgin fire units worked the scene while city stations were temporarily manned by four area fire departments.

Donations are being accepted at Community United Methodist Church, 400 W. Spring St., South Elgin. A GoFundMe account has been set up at www.gofundme.com/recovering-from-elgin-house-fire.

“We are grateful for any help, we appreciate anything,” Bishop said. “My number one concern is a getting a roof over their head.”

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