A year ago, the Micklo family awoke to a nightmare.
They woke to the sound of their fire alarm in the early morning hours; smoke funneling up the staircase of the Glen Ellyn home. All they had time to do was get everyone out, including the family dog. .
That morning the Micklos and their neighbors watched as the family's home at 555 Dawes St. went up in flames and did the same a couple days later as crews came to sweep away what little was left.
"When we got out we had no idea we would lose everything, we just had what we'd been sleeping in," said Kevin Micklo. "Our heads were spinning and we were just trying to figure out what was going on."
With the house gone and the family in disrepair, the community sprung into action.
Within days of the unexplained fire children in the area had set up lemonade stands that netted the family nearly $2,000, neighbors donated goods and local restaurants like Buffalo Wild Wings and Cici's Pizza held fundraisers to help the family through their hard time.
That was last June. The Micklo family moved back into their home on March 13 on the same plot of land where they lost everything but the family car and the clothes on their backs.
The outpouring from the community was a big reason for their commitment to stay where tragedy struck.
"Everybody in the neighborhood was so amazing with helping us," said Erin Micklo. "There was a fund set up and people donated clothing and gift cards and books for the kids, it was amazing."
The fire, which started in the basement and eventually worked itself to the back porch where it exploded two propane tanks, effectively took everything with it.
That left the family with a lot to replace. From utensils to couches to beds and toys.
Those voids were easy to fill. However, it was the memories that will be most missed.
"The fire was so bad that no one could go in the house afterwards," said Erin Micklo. "We couldn't get in to find things like photo albums, home movies, my wedding dress. It was all gone."
Through it all, the Micklo family knows that those in the area have had their backs. Without them the rebuilding process would have been even harder.
"This all would have been nearly impossible without everyone's help," said Kevin Micklo. "The church, the school districts, everyone was just absolutely amazing, we're very grateful."