BRIGHTON PARK — Local journalist Rocio Villaseñor was killed in a Brighton Park fire that injured her father and displaced her family Friday.
A GoFundMe has been set up to help the Villaseñor-Sanchez family financially after this “unimaginable and tragic event,” organizers wrote on the fundraising site. Money will be used to “aid and support the Villaseñor-Sanchez family for the foreseeable future,” according to the GoFundMe.
The campaign had raised more than $11,000 of its $100,000 goal as of Wednesday morning. Click here to donate.
Villaseñor, 31, was a journalist and communications specialist who wrote for Block Club Chicago, Cicero Independiente, City Bureau, La Raza and Modern Healthcare. She was a graduate of University of Illinois Chicago and Columbia College Chicago, according to her social media.
At Block Club, Villaseñor frequently sent along news tips even when she couldn’t cover a story, specializing in digging up unique stories on the Southwest Side.
Villaseñor was a “beloved sister, daughter, friend and aunt – leaving behind a legacy of warmth, joy and kindness that will forever be remembered in our hearts,” her family wrote on the fundraising page. “May her spirit continue to inspire love and strength in those who knew her and embrace the Villaseñor family.”
Villaseñor’s father, Crecencio Villaseñor, 69, was hospitalized for smoke inhalation, according to the Fire Department. Relatives wrote on the GoFundMe page that he was hurt after he ran back into the home for his daughter.
Eight members of the Villaseñor-Sanchez family were inside their home when the fire broke out, the family wrote. There was an “explosion” in the rear of the house, and then it caught fire, according to the family.
The seven surviving family members were displaced and are staying in Little Village, family said.
The cause of the fire in under investigation as of Tuesday, said Larry Langford, Fire Department spokesperson.
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