Family of 17 Loses Everything in Massive Oak Park Home Fire

12 children lived in duplex

An Oak Park family of 17 is reaching out to the community for help, after losing everything they own in a fire.

The fire sparked at approximately 4:30 a.m. Tuesday on 53rd Street and Shelby.

Three families and their pets were able to escape without any injuries, but everything they owned is now gone. 

"We lost everything, years of hard work," said Dulce Garcia.

The family said three of the 11 children that had lived in the home had been adopted after their birth mother died just a year ago.

Garcia was the first to wake up and remembered the pure shock of flames and smoke taking over her bedroom. She told NBC 7 she ran to wake up all the children, screaming through the halls.

Her nephew, Samuel Campos, heard the cries for help.

"Right when I was going to go to sleep, I heard my aunt screaming. I thought someone got inside the house.  I jumped off the bed and I ran out and I saw a lot of smoke, and everyone just running out," Campos said.

The families are now staying with relatives nearby, but the aftermath of the fire is still affecting each one.

"Last night we couldn't sleep, and we all slept in one room because we were that scared," said Garcia. "We just need to figure out where we're going to live.  How we're going to buy everything that our kids need--from beds, furniture, everything."

The families told NBC 7, they’re very thankful for all the support and donations they've received from people in the community.

A GoFundMe page has been set up for donations.

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