ALGONQUIN – About 7:45 a.m. Wednesday, Kashae Mok woke up to a popping sound and smoke filling the basement where she slept in her family’s house.
Mok, who is eight months’ pregnant, went upstairs and alerted everyone to a fire. “If it wasn’t for her, we probably would still be laying there,” said Patricia Mok, Kashae’s mother. “She was inhaling some of the smoke by this time.”
No one was hurt. Kashae Mok, 22, was taken to Centegra Hospital – Woodstock for observation and was listed in good condition.
The 2,000-square-foot house on the 4500 block of Greenwood Court, in unincorporated McHenry County north of Algonquin, was rendered uninhabitable by smoke and fire damage.
The cause of the blaze that started in the basement has not been determined.
Six residents were displaced.
“The only thing you can’t replace is the photographs and the drawings,” said Courtney Mok, Patricia Mok’s daughter-in-law, who came to assist the family after the fire.
The family was able to salvage some items from the home where the Moks have lived for 23 years, but none of the baby items Kashae Mok had in the basement – a stroller, car seat, diapers were saved.
“Everything is literally, pretty much messed up,” Patricia Mok said.
A firefighter, however, saved some drawings that Patricia Mok’s father made about 80 years ago.
“I was so touched,” she said. “He just grabbed a load of pictures and threw them all in” a container.
“My dad told me, ‘You make sure you take care of these, if I let you have them.’ I said, ‘Of course, I will.’ I’ve had them all these years in this house,” Patricia Mok said.
The fire was reported at 7:48 a.m. and when firefighters arrived, heavy smoke was pouring out. The Algonquin-Lake in the Hills Fire Protection District, assisted by fire departments from Carpentersville, Fox River Grove and Cary, was on the scene until 11 a.m.
Early Wednesday afternoon, neighbors were stopping to offer help as workers boarded up the house.
“I’ve had friends coming over and bringing food,” Patricia Mok said. “People are just so nice.”
The Mok family planned to stay in a hotel until they find a house to rent while repairs are made, something they said could take six to eight months.
“We’re going to stay together,” Patricia Mok said.