Weather Updates

Donations being taken for Aurora fire victims

Updated: February 25, 2014 6:30AM

When a fire tore through the home of Brian and Nance Prendota Tuesday evening, it destroyed everything in its path.

The Aurora couple and their two sons were inside the family’s mobile home on Margret’s Lane around 9:10 p.m. when disaster struck.

“Brian and Nance were in bed when they saw the glow in the hallway,” said family friend Judy Kaenel. Brian tried fighting the fire himself, and ended up with severe burns on two-thirds of his body, she said.

He is currently in critical, but stable condition at Loyola Medical Center in Maywood, where he is being treated for burns and smoke inhalation.

The couple’s two sons, ages 23 and 24, remain hospitalized in Aurora. The younger brother suffered second-degree burns and smoke inhalation. The older brother received multiple lacerations after he broke out a window to rescue those stuck inside, Kaenel said.

Nance Prendota, who works as a bus driver in Aurora, was treated and released.

“Brian and Nance had health insurance, but they lost everything they own,” Kaenel said. “They are homeless.”

Kaenel said that what matters most right now is making sure the family’s immediate needs are met. This includes having winter clothing as temperatures dip below zero yet again in the Fox Valley.

“Red Cross gave them a little money for travel and food, and (Presence) Mercy (Medical Center) gave each of them a set of clothing. But, that’s basically what they’ve got. They have nothing. Zero. Nothing,” Kaenel said.

“It’s scary, but Hesed House has stepped up to help,” she said. “Nance wants to keep her and the boys together. It’s scary for her, not knowing what to do. It’s awful.”

To help the family get back on its feet, Kaenel and others have started collecting donations of clothing and gift cards.

There are two dropoff locations in Aurora where donations can be made: The Warehouse Church, 308 E. Galena Blvd., from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and Illinois Central Bus Company, 631 N. Ohio St., from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Anyone with questions can call Warehouse Church Rev. Randy Schoof at 630-859-0600.

Donated women’s clothing should be dress/pant size 20, shirt size 2X and shoe size 9.

Donated men’s clothing should be pant sizes 34 and 46, shirt sizes L, XL and XXL and shoe sizes 12 and 9 and 5.

Jackets, boots, scarves, glove and other outdoor wear are needed.

Friends are working to set up a bank account where monetary donations can be made.

Fire officials have not released an official cause of the blaze.

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