STERLING – Rebecca Eagan was grocery shopping in town Friday night when she received a call from one of her sons: Their home was on fire.
She rushed back to their blue two-story on Troy Road, just west of the Walmart Distribution Center.
"There were fire trucks from everywhere," the 37-year-old said. "We watched our house burn."
No one was inside when the fire broke out. Her 19-year-old son, Dylan Fullington, who told Eagan about the blaze, found out about it from someone who called him.
Eagan's other sons are Nicholas Fullington, 17, and Ethyn Fullington, 10.
"We lost everything but the clothes on our backs," said Eagan, who works at Paradise Gardens in Fulton. "I lost all of my photos."
Two of their three dogs, Cinder and Bianca, perished, but Kate was able to escape. Bianca was 4; Cinder was her 2-year-old puppy.
"They were part of the family," Eagan said. "One of my sons can't talk about this."
The Red Cross put up the family in a hotel for 3 days. Now, they probably will stay with friends and family, Eagan said.
"I'm just devastated, and I don't know what we're going to do. I don't know whether there are agencies that can help us," she said.
Eagan's parents owned the house, but she was planning to buy it. The house, which has new siding and roofing, was not insured, Eagan said.
An account for donations to the family has been set up at Sauk Valley Bank. It is in Rebecca Eagan's name.
Donations also can be sent to her at 23343 Troy Road in Sterling. The post office is holding her mail, she said.
The Sterling Fire Department, which responded to the fire about 8 p.m., put it out in about a half-hour.
The state fire marshal's office is investigating the cause.