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AdVantage News | Andrew Richards
The Beck family stand in front of what remains of their home in Jersey County. A fire believed to have originated from a heat lamp in the garage destroyed the home Jan. 23.
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AdVantage News | Andrew Richards
Below, Joy Beck shows the ring on her left hand, along with the jewelry box that the Becks saved from the fire.
A quick-thinking niece saved the lives of her aunt, uncle and cousins the early morning of Thursday, Jan. 23, and now a caring community is helping rebuild their lives.
Catherine Daves, 25, was the lone family member awake on her cell phone in the bedroom at her aunt and uncle Doyle and Joy Beck’s home on Jersey Landing Road in Godfrey when the blaze started. She heard fire popping on the window and saw a ray of light from the fire.
Daves rushed through the home and rescued her aunt, uncle and two nieces from the fire.
“She yelled at my daughters who were in bed, “the house is on fire! We need to get out!,” Doyle Beck said. “She also screamed in the bedroom for us, ‘Aunt Joy I think the house is on fire!’ I am very grateful that she was there.”
A treasured wedding ring and precious photographs were all that was left for the Beck family from the devastating fire.
“Joy wanted to see if the jewelry box and the wedding ring were there the next day,” he said. “Our bedroom was in the basement and a wall debris fell on the dresser that held a jewelry box that was scorched but we opened it up and we pulled out the ring.”
Doyle and Joy have four children: Jeremiah Beck, 24, Justin, 21, Julianne, 20 and Jolena, 15. Julianne and Jolena were both in their bedrooms at the time the fire was discovered.
Doyle and Joy lost two dogs in the fire along with a cat in the garage. He had taken the dogs and placed them in the garage to stay warm because of the extremely cold weather that night. Doyle believes a heat lamp he used to provide extra heat for them might have been what sparked the fire.
Jenni Beck, a sister-in-law, has allowed her real estate office Current Realty, 809 W. Delmar in Alton, to be a drop-off place for people to bring items for the family. She said the response to Doyle and Joy’s family needs has been overwhelming.
“We are now suggesting mostly household items and gift cards for them,” she said. “Our entire church family and immediate family pulled together as one united force to help them get through this.”
About two and a half years ago, Doyle and Joy lost their Little Caesars pizza business in Ferguson, Mo., when a massive tornado blew through the city, taking the roof off.
“We were down for nine months but everything is now fine and we made it through that,” Doyle said. “It took a lot of blood, sweat and tears and a lot of money, but we rebuilt that business and had a Little Caesars in Godfrey that kept us going.”
Doyle and Joy Beck own the Little Caesars at 3100 Godfrey Road in Godfrey.
Doyle said just the simplest, basic things would help the family right now. Mac and Cheese, canned soup and cereal would help the family get started again.
He also said, “Simply purchasing a Hot and Ready pizza at their Little Caesars Godfrey location would benefit us as well as the community.
“We walked out with just our pajamas on,” Doyle said. “I want everybody to know we do have insurance and some people suffer a lot more in this type of situation than we will. I do appreciate very much the help.”
Doyle and Joy look at the wedding ring being intact as “a glimmer of hope.”
“When I looked at it, it fits the old saying ‘a diamond in the rough,’” Doyle said.