Cudahy family faces aftermath of devastating fire

CREATED Dec. 17, 2013 - UPDATED: Dec. 18, 2013

  • Print

CUDAHY - A Cudahy family was able to get out of their burning home Tuesday night, but four people had to go to the hospital.

The Jophlin's home is severely damaged and boarded up, and most of their possessions are gone. With a week before Christmas - the fire hit this family especially hard.

"You just never know when something like this is going to happen," says Jerry Jophlin.

Jophlin is trying to keep it together - but the aftermath is difficult to digest. For now, his house is not a home. Plywood seals in the damage, and deflated decorations litter his front lawn.

"It's just heart-wrenching because with Christmas coming up, I'm one of these people who believe in decorating my house and making it a thing for the kids. And it just hurts."

Jerry and his family were inside Tuesday night when one of his daughters sounded the alarm.

"My one daughter said 'I smell smoke,' and the next thing I know... this whole part of the house was on fire."

After clearing the home, Jerry fell down and passed out from smoke inhalation. The fumes landed him and his daughters in the hospital. 

They're recovering at a local hotel now, while Jerry tries to salvage what he can - relying on others to pull his family through this holiday season.

"My direct family and the community has been outrageous. You can't ask for more."

If you'd like to help the Jophlin family, read the following message from the Mayor of Cudahy:

"There are currently several ongoing efforts to help the families affected. At Cudahy City Hall, we will be accepting donations that will be given to the families involved.  Any used clothing you could donate would be greatly appreciated.  Children's sizes are: Boys size 6 and 12 and girls size 4t-5t and a 15 year old girl (size unknown). Parents sizes are: Mother wears medium tops size 8-9 in pants; Father large tops pant size unknown.  Toys for the children to brighten up their holiday or any household items would be appreciated.

Donations can be brought to the Cudahy Municipal Building, 5050 South Lake Drive, Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5 pm.  We will make sure that all donations are forwarded to the families involved."