The back addition to a Granite City ranch home is a charred mess due to a fire that broke out Monday evening. The fire department believes it was caused by a space heater.

Expired insurance in Granite City, Illinois, house destroyed by fire

The addition to the back of a Granite City ranch is a charred mess due to a fire that broke out Monday night.  Firefighters believe it was caused by a heater.

The addition to the again of a Granite Metropolis ranch is a charred mess because of a fireplace that broke out Monday evening. Firefighters consider it was attributable to a heater.


It was dangerous sufficient {that a} household in Granite Metropolis misplaced their house to a fireplace on Monday evening, then came upon it wasn’t coated by insurance coverage.

Three siblings have been minding the enterprise of their mom, Linda McLean, 85, and one way or the other the final insurance coverage cost ‘fell by the cracks’, in accordance with her granddaughter. daughter.

“My grandmother has owned this home (for over 40 years),” mentioned Jody Werner, 38. “She’s the type of lady who has an ideal credit standing. She’s by no means dropped her payments or had something extinguished. It is like the one time that home was uninsured.

Linda is a mom of 5, grandmother of 5 and great-grandmother of 4. She lived on a white-sided ranch at 3208 Wayne Ave. with an addition on the again.

The fireplace additionally displaced Linda’s daughter, Jennifer Werner, 63, and Jennifer’s son, Clayton Werner, 34, who lived together with her and helped take care of her; in addition to two great-grandsons, Evan Werner, 22, and Phoenix Werner, 19.

The blaze was doubtless attributable to a heater operating in a again room, Granite Metropolis Deputy Hearth Chief Wealthy Moore reported.

“We’re normally fairly good at doing an investigation if warranted,” he mentioned. “However with what the proprietor mentioned and the presence of this burnt-out heater and its proximity to a sofa… That appears to be the rationale.”

The household had been attempting to rent a plumber due to a frozen and burst water pipe. Jody, Jennifer’s daughter, wonders if this may need impacted the scenario ultimately.

Firefighters have been known as to the house at 6:26 p.m. Monday. The final unit left at 9:17 p.m.

“There was important injury,” Moore mentioned, noting that it was brought about not solely by fireplace and warmth, but in addition by smoke and water.

Jody Werner has launched a GoFundMe marketing campaign to assist her mom, grandmother and different relations rebuild their lives after a fireplace destroyed their Granite Metropolis house on Monday. GoFundMe

The fireplace tragically ended a tough yr for the household.

Jennifer, a widow and worker of Southern Illinois College Edwardsville who beforehand labored for BJC Healthcare, suffered a stroke and coronary heart assault in January and underwent quintuple bypass surgical procedure in March.

Earlier this month, Jody and Clayton came upon they have been going to be laid off in January. She is a chef who runs the kitchen at The Improv Store in St. Louis with the assistance of her brother. The comedy membership retires from the meals trade.

On Monday evening, Evan, a pupil on Christmas break, found the hearth when he went to a again room of Linda’s home to cost his cellphone, in accordance with Jody.

“He opened the door and the room was engulfed in flames,” she mentioned.

Evan and Phoenix helped Linda escape and tried to spherical up the household’s 5 cats. Jennifer, who had simply taken a bathe, ran out into the chilly sporting solely a towel. They sat in Jody’s automotive till a neighbor invited them inside to heat up.

Three cats survived, one died within the fireplace and one is lacking. The household discovered on Tuesday that their insurance coverage protection had been terminated.

“It is nearly humorous, it is so horrible,” Jody mentioned.

Buddies began contributing cash by way of Venmo and PayPal after studying in regards to the fireplace on Jody’s Facebook page. She was persuaded to begin a GoFundMe campaign Wednesday.

“We are the household kind…We by no means relied on anybody however ourselves,” Jody mentioned, her voice stuffed with emotion. “It is not straightforward for anybody, I do not assume, to have an outstretched hand. It is onerous, and it is actually humiliating.

The Improv Store plans to donate 100% of comedy show recipes Friday and Saturday to the household, in accordance with common supervisor Andy Sloey.

Jody is not only a chef on the comedy membership, she’s a performer.

“She has lengthy been a mainstay of the improv group in St. Louis and have become our kitchen supervisor in 2017,” Sloey mentioned. “Everybody loves her and he or she has been caring for the group by nurturing it for 5 years, so we need to assist her on this tough time.”

This story was initially printed December 29, 2022 06:00.

Teri Maddox has been a journalist for 37 years and joined the Belleville Information-Democrat in 1990. She additionally teaches journalism at St. Louis Neighborhood Faculty in Forest Park. She is a graduate of Southern Illinois College Carbondale and the College of Wisconsin-Madison.

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