A house in Greenwood Township was destroyed by fire Sunday, with no injuries reported.
Area departments responded to a house fire around 3 p.m. Residents were home at the time, but all were able to exit, physically unharmed. The house was home to a family, including adults, children, three cats and a dog.
The house was located in the 2600 block of Mordini Road in Greenwood Township, about 15 minutes northeast of Cook.
According to the press release by the St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office, “Upon arrival by First Responders the house was fully engulfed in flames, and as a result of the fire the house was completely destroyed.”
According to reports by Fox 21, and daughter Tionna Nelson, the home was owned by Norman and Susan Nelson. Tionna Nelson has reached out to the community through Facebook for emergency donations for the family.
“My mom was only wearing a robe when she ran for her life,” Tionna Nelson wrote on the Facebook group A Range of Hearts. “It almost took her. She talks about being trapped by the flames.”
The Nelsons were relative foster care providers to three grandchildren.
Requested items include: girls clothing size 7-8, girls clothing size 16-18, mens clothing size medium and pants 32x34, women’s clothing size XL-2XL, me’s size 2XL and pants 38x36, cat and dog food.
“That was my parent’s house and I grew up there,” said Tionna Nelson over the phone Monday. “My older kids live there and they made it out safe.”
The eldest three of her five children live full-time with her parents.
Nelson said right now they are focused on finding food, clothing and winter gear but her biggest fear is that they don’t have anything for Thanksgiving or Christmas. “All we have is a Christmas tree. I don’t have the income or resources to get them anything.”
During the conversation she realized that the children also lost all of their school supplies. The children attend North Woods and are in second, fourth and sixth grades.
“Before school even started we had about 20 emails going back and forth with ideas,” said John Jirik, dean of North Woods, over the phone Monday afternoon. “There are plans in the works to get the kids everything they need.”
Jirik said both elementary and some of the high school staff have met to discuss this issue. The honor society, student council and Leo’s club will be running the high school’s efforts.
“From what I understand, this is a huge community get-together to help these kids and the family...I know what is going to happen,” Jirik said. “Once we get going, our kids and the community are going to jump all over it and do everything to help this family out. Information will be coming home with students soon.”
Students were just learning what happened to their classmates, he added, and that everyone was surprised by the fire.
“The kids are still in shock. My parents are handling a lot of emotions right now,” Tionna Nelson said when asked how everyone was handling the situation. “The fire department is back at the house. It started on fire last night, again, after everyone had left.”
Nelson said she is doing what she can and that her siblings are helping their parents.
The cause of the fire is under investigation by both the St. Louis County Sheriff’s Department and the State Fire Marshal’s Office. Although the cause of the fire is currently unknown, Nelson believes it may have been electrical.
Responding departments included: St. Louis County Sheriff’s Department, Greenwood Fire Department, Cook Fire Department and Breitung Fire Department.