Early Morning Fire Leaves Family Homeless

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Volunteer fire fighters from as far away as West Park came together Friday morning to put out a house fire. Flames engulfed the home for several hours leaving three adults and five children homeless.

The fire started around 9 a.m. at 413 Nina Terrace, just west of Rockford. An older man who was staying at the house was taken to the hospital for smoke related injuries. Homeowner Margaret Torres was able to escape unharmed. Fire personnel worked in shifts as they battled the frigid temperatures, but that wasn't the only problem, several oxygen bottles left in the house exploded forcing fire fighters to fight the flames from outside.

Winnebago County Sheriff's police say a four-year-old playing with matches sparked the blaze. The American Red Cross is helping the family. Several relatives and neighbors have offered the family a place to stay.