Fire Leaves East Peoria Family Without a Home

By Maggie Vespa

July 29, 2011 Updated Jul 29, 2011 at 10:49 PM CDT

An East Peoria mother of three and her family say they don't know how to move forward after a fire tore through their home late Friday morning.

Fire officials say they received a call from the 200 block of Chicago Street around 10:30 a.m.

36 year-old Sylvia Cato lives in the home with her boyfriend, 46 year-old Terry Gumm and her three children, ages 18, 17 and 14.

Cato says around 10 a.m., she and her boyfriend left the home to get gas.

She says they were gone no more than twenty minutes before returning to find their house on fire.

"We pulled up and we saw smoke coming through the back bedroom and all through the house, through the roof, and through the door," she said. When asked about her first thoughts, she said, "I'm going to lose everything. My house is on fire."

Cato says no one was inside the home at the time, except the family dog. Firefighters rescued the dog, and Cato says he's okay.

Fire investigators are still looking for a cause. The home is expected to be a total loss.

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