Moline house fire affects three generations of family members

MOLINE-- Grandson A.J. Anselmi says he just couldn't get it together.

"It took me a second to realize this was real," says A.J.

As smoke and flames filled a Moline house on 14th Street and 33rd Avenue, three generations of family members watched in disbelief. The home has been in the family since 1946.

"This is our second fire today, so they're doing pretty good. They're a little bit tired from the first fire, but this is what they like to do, and they do it well," says Moline Fire Training Officer Jim Versluis.

Fire officials say the blaze started in the kitchen. Homeowner Mike Anselmi was home at the time, but he was outside fixing his car. He said he heard a loud boom, opened the door, and a wall of fire pushed him back outside.

Even with a worn out crew, the fire took about 5 minutes to get under control.

But what took seconds to put out took three generations to create.

"The memories are really bonding with our family or getting to know each other even more as we grew up," remembers A.J.

It's been the home that brought family together.

"Lately we haven't really been together, but this house, every time we come here, it's all a symbol of unification. We all just get along," says A.J.

Even with all the ashes, this house is still doing just that.

Fire Investigators estimate the house sustained about $40,000 in damages.

No one was hurt, and Red Cross is assisting the family.