MURPHYSBORO, IL (KFVS) - Early Friday morning just before 2 a.m., a 911 call alerted firefighters with the Murphysboro-Pomona-Somerset Fire department about a house fire on Stilley Lane.
When they arrived firefighters immediately began battling the flames in the attic area of the house.
A family member had been up watching a movie when she heard crackling sounds above the ceiling. She quickly woke everyone up.
The Stilley family continued to grab pictures, family heirlooms and momentous as the flames spread throughout the attic of the home.
As soon as the flames were extinguished on Friday afternoon, help for the family began pouring in to help them begin picking up the pieces.
"The Stilley's are just such a giving family. And they would do anything to help anyone," Ashley Runge said. "DeAnn was my Kindergarten teacher. And now she's my co-worker. And I would definitely say a friend. So when it's time to help them, this is what the community does."
Throughout the morning hours on Saturday a steady stream of people stopped off at Carruthers Elementary school where DeAnn teaches. Each person walked into the school's main office to drop of check, cash, clothes and household goods.
"Bob and I were classmates in high school," Jim Gilbert said. "I'm the same age as Bob, and we played on the football team together. I know Bob's a little slimmer than me, but he's the same height. So hopefully a good coat and a little bit of cash will help a bit."
Some of Bob's former football players, along with current Red Devils and coaches from Murphysboro High School spent most of the day on Saturday helping the family sift through the charred debris of their house.
And some area businesses are also joining in the effort to help the family get back on their feet.
"I texted my boss Crystal at Midland Inn and she had already heard about it," Mikaela Trexler said. "She had the idea to put a bucket on the bar to kind of do a donation fund.. And then we found out they were accepting meal donations here at Carruthers school for the family. So they're going to donate some bar-b-que meals this week."
Donations for the Stilley family can either be mailed to, or dropped off at Carruthers Elementary School at 80 Candy Lane in Murphysboro, Illinois 62966.
Firefighters did determine that the flames ignited out of the chimney flue and spread throughout the attic of the house. The home and contents are a complete loss.