PANA FIREMEN ATTACK a fire at 710 Kitchell Ave. just before 1:00 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 20. The home of Bill and Penny Merrifield was destroyed in the fire.
(Gene Reed Photo)
Fire investigators are still looking for the cause of a fire which ravaged a Pana family’s home in the early hours of Saturday, Nov. 20. Pana Fire Chief Rod Bland says the home of Bill and Penny Merrifield, 710 Kitchell Ave., was destroyed in the blaze which happened at 12:46 a.m. Saturday.
Bland said the family was not at home when the fire started on the lower level. They were camping at Ramsey Lake State Park, Bland said. When firemen arrived, they found heavy smoke and flames shooting from the inside of the house.
The fire burnt a stairway to the second floor and firemen had to use a porch roof to access the upstairs. Bland said mutual aid from Oconee, Tower Hill, Assumption and Nokomis responded. Bland said the north half of the home was gutted and the rest of the home received smoke and water damage. Firemen were on the scene until 5:00 a.m., but were called back about 45 minutes later due to some hot spots. No one was reported injured.
Also responding was the American Red Cross Illinois Capital Area Chapter who provided emergency assistance to the family of two adults and four children. They helped provide emergency clothing, medication, food and shoes for three of the children.
A support fund for the family has been established at the First National Bank of Pana. Donations can be sent to Merrifield Fire Fund, c/o Georgette Merrifield, 900 Holly St., Pana IL 62557.
Clothing and furniture is also needed by the family. Call 562-5548 for more information.