Neighbors support family of 7 after losing home to massive fire

CHICAGO — Neighbors pitched in on Friday to help a family of seven on the North Side who lost their home to a massive fire.

Michael Cabrero said he was getting off the bus on Thursday and ran home after his wife called to tell him about the fire in his building in the Irving Park community. Cabrero lived in the building with his wife and five children, whose ages range from 11-21 years old. He described the fire as frightening and like a roller coaster.

There has been an outpouring of support from the community to the family. Lilia Escobar from the alderman's office is requesting that people do not drop off clothes or supplies, but there is a Facebook fundraiser in place to support the family.

Dulce Arroyo didn't know the Cabreros, but jumped into action by setting up the online fundraiser.

"Someone has to take the first step and the first plunge," Arroyo said. "It's the right thing to do." The fundraiser has already raised more than $4,000.

Sam Liss is a resident of the apartment and lives above the Cabrero family. He said his heart went out more to the family than to him and his roommate.

Cabrero said he is truly grateful for his neighbors and thanked them for everything they have done for him.

Cabrero is an employee for the Hyatt Regency O'hare and the hotel has agreed to house the family through the weekend. They are working to find another apartment and want to stay in the Irving Park community.

The cause of the fire was under investigation and some residents of the community said it may have been electrical.

Ed Ronkoske, co-owner of Pro-tech Automotive said the building is probably over 100 years old and should have been torn down.

No one was hurt in the fire.

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