Peoria woman works to rebuild after losing everything in house fire

Local News

PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — One Peoria woman lost everything in a matter of minutes on Tuesday, Dec. 21.

A fire destroyed the place she called home, and now she is left picking up the pieces.

Wanting to take her daughter out to lunch, Patrice Foster left at 3 p.m., coming back 30 minutes later to find her home engulfed in flames. That is how long it took for Foster to lose everything after wrapping presents for her family and purchasing a new wardrobe for her daughter.

“My neighbor, he met me halfway, and I didn’t have my glasses, and I’m like ‘I can’t see that far, what’s going on?’ And my daughter took off running and that’s when I heard my neighbor say, ‘your house is on fire,’” said Foster.

Although American Red Cross is paying for two days for Foster and her daughter to stay in a hotel, she will be paying for more days out of her own pocket.

But Foster is not used to being on the receiving end of help. She is a giver and always has been. As the owner of a mental health not-for-profit, she normally is pouring into others.

Foster said, “I’m the one who puts the charity things together, so I’m so used to reaching out for help for others, I never thought I would be the one that needs to reach out for me, so I don’t know how to ask for help.”

Despite the frustration of losing her belongings, Foster still has a positive outlook. “I’m a firm believer that this too shall pass. It will, it has to, but in the meantime, it’s a hard pill to swallow.”

Her message for everybody going through tough times is that, “sometimes God uses you as an example, whether you like it or not. I encourage people in my situation to be okay with receiving help.”

To help Foster, she created a go-fund-me to help her get back on her feet.

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