The manager of Cozy Corner lost everything in a house fire. Here’s how you can help

LOGAN SQUARE — The manager of Cozy Corner on Milwaukee Avenue is struggling after a fire last month destroyed her family’s home.

Director Sheryl Peals said the blaze was caused by people setting off fireworks – which hit a power line – on July 4. The electrical surge first caused a power outage in the street and then Peals’ home caught fire, she said.

Peals’ colleagues at Cozy Corner are fundraise through GoFundMe to help his family recover from the fire. He has a goal of $25,000 and has raised $860 so far.

Photos on the GoFundMe show widespread destruction of the Maywood home in the suburb of Peals, with blackened walls, shattered windows and destroyed household items.

Another home in the neighborhood caught fire before Peals’, meaning the Maywood Fire Department had limited resources to put it out, Peals said. They had to enlist help from another city, she said.

A Maywood Fire Department official declined to confirm details of the fire as the investigation is ongoing.

“It happened so fast, and [the Maywood Fire Department was] always on the streets to put out this fire,” Peals, 30, said. “That’s why we lost everything. They couldn’t help the two houses, mostly because they were already fighting that fire.

Peals’ colleague Felix Sanchez organized the online fundraiser for her after discovering the incident. Cozy Corner, 2294 N. Milwaukee Ave., also put up signs in its restaurant encouraging people to help Peals if they can.

“It will help us find clothes, find a home, start over,” Peals said. “I mean, we need everything: shoes, clothes, beds, everything.”

Peals lived in the house with her father and 24-year-old sister. She lost her mother in October.

“That was probably the hardest part of it all,” Peals said. “Was young; we can replace our stuff. But she’s not with us anymore. And losing all her stuff – I think that probably hurt more than anything.

Peals said her father and sister motivate her to persevere despite the loss.

“To be able to see a smile on their face again and have them in a house would mean the world to me,” Peals said.

You can donate to Peals here.

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