LAKEMOOR – Thomas Damiano was asleep Friday when fire alarms went off and his house began filling with smoke. He woke up his family and got out of the home.
"[I] had to jump off of our balcony to escape," he said.
While no one was injured, the home was destroyed and two pet birds have not been found.
Damiano said he believes the fire may have started in the laundry room.
"We just barely got out," he said.
Lakemoor Police Chief David Godlewski said crews were called at about 10:25 a.m. Friday to a fire in the 300 block of North Rosedale Drive, Lakemoor.
The home at 336 Rosedale Drive was engulfed in flames when crews arrived, and firefighters were still putting out some of the flames an hour after arriving at the home. Godlewski said the home as a total loss.
Brian Burkus, owner of Old Town Pizza & Catering Co., said Damiano and his sons have been longtime employees and are like a "second family" to him.
"My other employee Herman gave his shoes to [Damiano's son] Scotty today, and I'm struggling to find a pair of prescription glasses for Scotty, because Scotty lost his glasses in the fire and he can't see. So I'm working to get them some basic necessities right now," Burkus said.
"I'm also asking the community for help for my people," Burkus added. "They are a great, hardworking family."
Firefighters from several departments were called to the scene to assist, including McHenry Township, Antioch and Crystal Lake.
Red Cross and the McHenry County Housing Authority are working to help the family.
"We can provide them with shelter vouchers at a hotel for up to eight weeks, then I'll help them with trying to find a new place and we purchased a new bed for everyone in the household," said Sue Rose, community service director with the McHenry County Housing Authority.
The cause of the fire remained under investigation as of Friday afternoon.