Fire destroys apt. of charity group founder

(From Feb. 2, 2012)

The founder of an area charity that sends footwear to people in impoverished parts of the world lost everything she owned after a fire Monday night destroyed her apartment in Worth.

The fire in the building in the 6900 block of 111th Place, just north of Worth Junior High School, started about 9 p.m. in one of the structure's four apartments, according to North Palos Fire Protection District Battalion Chief Chris Perry. It took firefighters about 20 minutes to extinguish the fire, Perry said. No one was injured, and the cause of the fire is believed to be a short in a lamp in the apartment of Share Your Soles founder Mona Purdy.

"My home burned to the ground this evening, and I am safe and alive," Purdy wrote on her Facebook page Monday night. "God must have a special place for me."

Purdy was watching television in her bedroom when she saw a bright light through the door and heard her fire alarm going off, she said Tuesday.

"It was the strangest thing," she said. "I came out of my room, and the wall was ablaze above my sofa. A cord on the wall was burnt.

"I was going to the neighbors and screaming, 'Fire, help!' and nobody could hear me. When I ran outside, the fire trucks came. It was unbelievable. They had to break down doors to get people out."

Purdy is staying with her children.

"Everything in my world was in this house