BYRON, Ill. (WTVO) — A student in Stillman Valley is collecting donations for the family whose house burned down in Byron on Saturday, killing a neighbor who went over to help.
According to the Byron Fire Protection District, around 8:47 a.m. fire crews were dispatched to the 100 block of W. 3rd Street for an electrical emergency.
What they found was that wires from a power line had fallen onto Danielle Bond’s roof, starting a fire. The pregnant mom is a teacher at the grade school in the Meridian district.
The line had also electrified the house, officials said.
Marlana McFarland, 36, was trying to let Bond and her family know their house was on fire, according to friends. She was found dead in the front yard by responding firefighters, who had to wait until ComEd cut the power before rushing in.
A vigil will be held in Byron Tuesday night in her memory.
Meridian School District students and faculty said that the school district is a family. With Bond having lost everything, they want to help get all the essentials that she and her family need right now.
“It broke my heart when I found out her house burned down and she is six months pregnant and they didn’t have anything, so I decided to help her,” said Meridian Junior High School 6th grader, Gracie Snyder.
Snyder is a part of the student council and felt the need to get Bond some help.
“I know that she taught some of my younger friends and I knew that she was a good teacher, so, knowing someone in our community that is going through a time like this, we should help,” Synder said.
Student Council advisor Micki Hoefle said she wasn’t surprised that her students wanted to help.
“We decided that we would do some sort of drive, so Gracie put together a Facebook post and I posted it, asking people for donations of gift cards, cash, specific items, like clothing the things family need right away because they literally lost everything,” she said.
The students said they are hoping to raise $5,000.
“We are one district and we are really a family here, so when something happens to one of our teachers or aids, or anyone in the district, it affects all of us,” Hoefle said. “So, the students are cognizant of everybody in the district, so I think it’s just important to make sure that everyone is okay.”
Snyder said she wants to inspire others to help make a difference in the community.
“It feels good to inspire other people to get them to help out too and just…. it’s a small community so we just help out each other when we need to…. and that is what student council is all about,” she said.
Drop-off locations for items are 3 Highland Court in Stillman Valley and 2846 E. Appleridge Lane in Byron.