An Oak Park family has been displaced from their home after a fire broke out Tuesday morning on the 900 block of North Lombard Avenue.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

The Czajka-Ranz family is safe and uninjured, authorities said, but only one of their three cats was rescued from the fire, according to a GoFundMe page started by Abby Czajka to help her family recover financially.

Abby Czajka wrote that she and her family are “supremely heartbroken, shocked and overwhelmed” and are facing considerable expenses as a result of the fire.

“The road ahead is unclear as of right now, but that road is most definitely going to be paved with huge expenses and any financial assistance we can receive from our community would be so greatly appreciated,” Abby Czajka wrote.

Oak Park fire fighters were called to the family’s home at 1:31 a.m. Sept. 5, after receiving reports of a porch fire.

“Upon arrival, it was found that the entire front of the building was engulfed in fire with the flames spreading to two adjacent homes,” said Dan Yopchick, Oak Park spokesperson, in an email. He also serves as the fire department’s spokesperson.

Abby Czajka was not home at the time of the fire, but her mother, sister and father were in bed. Once aware of the situation, her sister, Mabel Czajka, carried the family’s surviving cat out of the burning house. They tried to find the others.

“We were all looking for the other cats as long as we could until we knew that the house was becoming dangerous and we had to get out,” Mabel Czajka told Wednesday Journal.

Two cats did not survive. They were cremated at the River Forest Animal Hospital.

“That’s got to be the hardest part because there’s not been time to mourn,” said Jennifer Czajka, Mabel and Abby’s mother.

No other injuries were reported.

Fire departments from Forest Park, Berwyn, Cicero, Broadview and Elmwood Park assisted the Oak Park Fire Department in extinguishing the fire, which damaged the siding of the two adjacent homes.

Those homes are considered livable. The Czajka-Ranz’s home, however, was significantly damaged and the family has been staying in a hotel. A neighbor is taking care of their cat. It is unlikely the family’s home can be repaired.

“The insurance company has indicated that it’s probably a total loss,” said Jennifer Czajka.

Jennifer and Mabel Czajka spoke to Wednesday Journal from their backyard Thursday morning, while a remediation team was helping the family take inventory of their losses.

“This is really the first pause we’ve had in the last 60-70 hours,” said Jennifer Czajka.

The Czajka-Ranz’s crowdfunding campaign, which went live the day after the fire, collected $41,280 as of Thursday morning, exceeding its $30,000 goal.

 The public’s generosity has overwhelmed the family.

“It feels fantastic,” said Jennifer Czajka. “It’s also overwhelming because literally, there’s not enough time in the day to stop and communicate with everybody and thank everybody, and that’s very hard to not be able to do.”

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