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Greek-American Family's Home Burns Down on New Year’s Day in Illinois

The National Herald Archive

(Photo: https://www.gofundme.com/)

CHICAGO – A fire destroyed the home of the Georgakopoulos family in Lincolnwood, IL early on New Year’s morning, CBS 2 Chicago reported, adding that “the family was on vacation at the time.”

The Lincolnwood Fire Department was called at 7:45 AM for a fire in the house at 6616 Kenton Ave, CBS reported.

“We’re about a block away, we can see smoke all the way across the street,” said Lincolnwood Fire Department Battalion Chief Bryan Pierce, CBS reported.

“Upon arriving, firefighters found heavy smoke and flames pushing through the roof,” the CBS report continued, adding that “the first floor of the house began to collapse, and crews could not get inside to fight the fire.”

“I saw the flames coming out of the top of the roof and was concerned, walked over, feel very sorry for our neighbors because they’re good people,” said Marty Michonski, who lives on the next block, CBS reported.

The National Herald Archive

(Photo: https://www.gofundme.com/)

“Somebody knocked on the door and said they saw smoke coming out of the house, so we called 911 and the Fire Department was here in a few minutes, and I’m glad that no one was home. Everything can be rebuilt except lives lost. It’s pretty bad… most likely it’s a teardown,” said next-door neighbor Sorin Vlad, CBS reported.

“They’re coming home to something that’s really a disaster. On New Year’s day, it’s just unbelievable,” Michonski told CBS.

The fire department said “the house was a total loss,” CBS reported, adding that “the cause was under investigation, but there was no indication that the fire was suspicious in nature.”

A GoFundMe campaign has been set up for the family. The text from the GoFundMe page by George Panagopoulos of The Georgakopoulos Team follows:

“On the first day of 2020 the Georgakopoulos family came home this morning to find their life’s work burnt to the ground. An electrical fire that was started in the basement engulfed their home into flames and then to ashes.

“All their personal belongings, their clothes, their childhood picture books and home movies, their icons, computers, jewelry, a lifelong journey of home decor, winter jackets, EVERYTHING... gone... all before 2020 even started.

“Dimitrios Georgakopoulos and his family spent their whole lives giving to their community. He started Athens Hellenic School educating our youth in the Chicago area in 1973. This education is not limited to Chicago, as our kids grew older they spread to other communities. They are true Greek Orthodox patriots who devoted their lives to spread Hellenism in the United States which is the base for why our American Hellenic Education Progressive Association (AHEPA) was started. Hellenism.

“During this holiday season when so many of us were blessed to receive on so many different levels, I extend my request for help. In the spirit of giving, to help this family get back on their feet and recover belongings that insurance will not cover. Something that you can’t put a price tag on. Even if it’s to share this post amongst your friends or on your local AHEPA/SONS/MAIDS/CHURCH pages. I know that the Georgakopoulos [family] would do this for so many of us. Please join me in making sure that 2020 is a prosperous year for them. Thank you.”

More information is available online: https://bit.ly/2ZKyI5j