One Family Needs Help After a Fire Early Saturday Morning, Fire Fighter Providing Tips to Keep Others Safe

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A fire can happen when you least expect it.

"Police were coming down the street and we were like wow whats going on and then i looked across the street and saw smoke coming out of the second floor windows," Said Dell Williams a neighbor to the family whose home caught fire Saturday morning in Rantoul. 

Neighbors of the Cheek family in Rantoul were shocked, when they saw the families home up in smoke early Saturday morning.

"Since it was so close to home it was a little nerve racking," Added Ben Johnston another neighbor of the family. 

The cheek family is now doing what they can to piece back together their home.

"I was actually at Caseys on my way to work when I noticed all the trucks and come back around and the whole second story was gone, " Said Tamaiera Cheek.

All family members were able to escape the fire safely, but now their in need of help

" We are looking for volunteers to you know help. There's just more than what me and him can do on our own. I mean we've got walls that need to come down floor joists ceilings floors, it's just going to take a long time to repair, " Added Tamaiera

The fire was caused when a young boy lit a candle in his room on the homes second floor, which is something neighbor Dell Williams says could happen to anyone.

"I actually have had an experience with a candle burning down on a glass table and shattering a glass table," Said Dell.

With National Fire Prevention Week starting, fire fighters say having the proper equipment is crucial  to staying safe.

" This years theme is don't wait check the date, replace your smoke alarm every 10 years. Thats one of the things we are stressing today is a lot of people don't  realize that smoke alarms actually have an expiration dates, " added Randy Smith Fire Marshall with the Champaign Fire Department. 

Also, making sure that the equipment works is key.

"Knowing you have a working smoke alarm, checking it every month is probably one of the most important things. It gives you that opportunity to leave the house quickly in case of an emergency, " Added Randy Smith.

 That equipment will keep you safe, like the Cheek family.

"We're are safe we're doing fine we're taking it one day one step at a time," expressed Tamaiera. 

The family has  go fund me page that can be found here, they say any little bit will help. 

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