85-year-old Berwyn woman rescued from her burning home on her birthday; 3 other homes damaged

"On my birthday, I'm starting over from scratch."

ByMaher Kawash WLS logo
Sunday, June 25, 2023
Berwyn Fire: 85-year-old woman rescued from her burning home on her birthday: 'I lost everything'
The Berwyn Fire Department is investigating after four homes caught fire, destroying two of them on Saturday near 22nd and Harvey.

BERWYN, Ill,. (WLS) -- Four homes caught fire Saturday evening in suburban Berwyn.

The first home caught fire around 5:45 p.m. 22nd and Harvey and quickly spread to the others, according to the Berwyn Fire Department.

"There was a massive amount of fire here, we received a lot of calls and I could actually see the smoke from about four to five blocks away, so we elevated the alarms very quickly," said Battalion Chief Jerry Marzullo.

Two of the homes are a total loss, according to Marzullo.

Roseanne Skirha said she was inside one of those two homes when the fire started, making a smoothie before she heard people yelling outside.

"When I went to the front of the house I saw that the south end of my living room is all apart, there was flames there," said Skirha.

A firefighter ended up carrying Roseanne outside. She's lived in the house since 1962 when her parents first bought it.

Now living alone and even celebrating her 85th birthday a day that's suddenly forcing her to start all over.

"I'm a little overwhelmed. Kind of hard to believe. I don't even wanna think, I mean I don't have any clothes, don't have anything really," she said. "On my birthday I'm starting over from scratch."

The Red Cross is now helping Roseanne and the other impacted residents with temporary shelter.

Everyone grateful for the quick response from first responders as the entire Berwyn fire department was needed to put this out with the help of several other agencies. Now. a lengthy recovery begins.

"I lost everything, photographs - everything," said Skirha. "I'm thankful I'm out without any burns or injuries."

Firefighters say the two homes on the side are still in tact. It's still too early to know what started the fire