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Published: Friday, 12/22/2006

Resident, firefighter hurt in blaze

WALBRIDGE - One person and a firefighter were hurt yesterday in a fire at a house in Walbridge, Lake Township Fire Chief J. Eric Larson said.

Eric Bischoff was admitted in fair condition to St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center after suffering burns from the fire at his home, 126 Perry St.

While battling the blaze, Firefighter Todd Klavinger cut his hand on a shard of glass that sliced through his glove. He was treated at St. Charles Mercy Hospital, the chief said.

The blaze began on the south wall of the kitchen about 9:30 a.m., the fire chief said.

Mr. Bischoff and his wife, Guadalupe Castro, escaped out a back window with the two children who were home at the time of the fire. The couple have five children ages 2-13.

The fire, which was extinguished in about 10 minutes, caused about $130,000 damage. The cause remains undetermined, the chief said.

Within hours of the blaze, the community banded together to help the family.

Walbridge officials will accept donations at the village's administrative building and have set up the Castro Family Fund at Fifth Third Bank.

Waste Management Evergreen Landfill will donate $1,000 to help the family. Clothing and other supplies are being collected through the American Red Cross and the Lake Township Fire Maids.

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