The Sherrard, Ill., man who lost his wife and daughter to a mobile home fire March 27 in which five people died is out of the hospital and trying to rebuild his life, his mother says, adding the outpouring of community support has been "terrific."
The support includes a full day of events scheduled for Saturday at the Hy-Vee in Milan to benefit the three families affected by the fire.
Carol Viager of Preemption, Ill., said her son, Wayne Viager, was treated for burns at University Hospitals, Iowa City, and has been released. He and his sons are c living with her.
"He's trying to find a place to live or rebuild," she said. "He's trying to start from scratch."
His son, Dekota Viager, 14, also was treated for burns. His other son, Allen Viager, 10, was treated for smoke inhalation.
Wayne Viager lost his wife, Anna Viager, 38, and daughter, Breanna Viager, 8, in the fire that broke out at the Viagers' double-wide mobile home at 1385 300th St.
Three other children died, including Jessica Harker, 11, Holli Harker, 13, and Cassaundra Turner, 15, all of Sherrard, who were at the home for a sleepover.
The cause of the fire remains undetermined, according to the Mercer County Sheriff's Office and the Illinois State Fire Marshal's Office.
There was one smoke detector in the home, but it wasn't working at the time of the fire, Mercer County Sheriff's Department Detective William Glancey said in a statement.
The fundraising events are hosted by Milan Hy-Vee.
Hy-Vee director Kevin Mills said the events will begin at 11 a.m. at the store at 201 W. 10th Ave. and continue the rest of the day, including food, games, live entertainment and a silent auction. A golf outing at Pinnacle Country Club begins at 1 p.m.
All proceeds and donations collected that day will go to the three families affected by the fire.
"They lost everything, literally everything," Mills said.
Mills said the community had approached Hy-Vee about doing a fundraiser.
"We're community-minded," Mills said. "This happened in our back yard. We have the resources, the organization and a lot of great people who work at Hy-Vee."
Mills said the silent auction has gotten great support from area businesses, with more than 50 items collected. He said Hy-Vee is still accepting donations for the silent auction. Hy-Vee's also seeking volunteers for the day.
Carol Viager said the Sherrard area has been very supportive since the fire. "The community has been absolutely terrific," she said. "I want to thank everyone who's helped."
A benefit also was held Saturday at the Milan American Legion for the Harker family.