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'You felt so welcomed': O'Fallon, Illinois, family loses everything in house fire

The fire happened on Friday afternoon around 1 p.m. Their home and two vehicles are completely destroyed.

O'FALLON, Ill. — A family in O'Fallon, Illinois, is having to start completely over after a house fire destroyed nearly everything they own. 

The fire happened on Friday, April 28, around 1 p.m. 

Investigators believe the fire started in the Dunns' family garage.

While thankfully everyone is OK, it's going to be a long road to recovery before they can call this place home again. 

Grace Hindman, Hannah Dunn's sister, said her sister's home was always an open door for anybody.

"It was just always a place that you felt so welcomed and it's just her whole being really," she said.

Caution tape and soot now cover the Dunns' family home on North Parc Grove Court. 

"When we walked inside, it was just, I had never seen anything like it before," Hindman said.

Hindman said her older sister, Dunn, lived in this home with her husband and two boys for years.

"She is such a homebody. She just loves her house, loves having people over," she said.

The "sanctuary" that Dunn had created was ruined by flames on Friday afternoon. 

Dunn's husband, Tom, was home when he smelled smoke coming from the garage, according to Hindman.

"She said he opened the door, and it was like pitch black of just filled with smoke and he could hear the flames," she said.

A neighbor saw the smoke and had already called 911.

When firefighters arrived, Hindman said, they told the family they had minutes to grab whatever they wanted to keep.

"We just took as much as we could get out that wasn’t ruined. Everything was just completely either drenched or it was just insulation stuff everywhere," she said.

You can still make out parts of the family's cars and even bicycles in the garage.

Hindman said these four walls were much more than just a place for the Dunn family to rest their heads at night.

"Her home was always so welcoming and comfortable and always an open door for anybody. She’s always one to like take care of others when it comes to her volleyball girls, her neighbors, the neighbors next door are always over," she said.

While this family's "sanctuary" will get rebuilt, Hindman said, the support for her sister and their family has been humbling.

"They’re not the kind of people that would ask or take anything from anybody, but I know they would do it in a heartbeat for others. She said this has completely changed her in a way that, it’s just changed her to know what matters," she said.

The cause of the fire is still undetermined at this time. 

The Dunn family wanted to thank the firefighters, their neighborhood and the community for all their support. 

You can donate money to the Dunn family here.

Right now, the family really needs everyday essentials like clothing and toiletries. 

Hanna is a size medium for tops and size 8 for shoes. Tom is a size X-large and size 10.5 shoes. Josh is a size medium and size 10 for shoes. Jackson is a size 14/16 kids or X-small adult and size 6.5 for shoes. 

The family would prefer summer or spring stuff right now.

If you would like to donate to the family, you can reach out to Grace Hindman on Facebook or through the GoFundMe link.

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