Nick Sommer donated $1,500 to the Harlem-Roscoe Fire Department for fire prevention awareness programs.

Seven years ago, 17-year-old Nick Sommer was unexpectedly called to the principal’s office in his hometown high school in Rockton, Ill.

When he arrived, he found his father in tears. “It’s the first time I’d seen him cry,” remembered Nick.

“Son, there’s been a fire. The house is gone. We’ve lost everything,” Nick’s father shared. Nick’s mother was at home at the time with their dogs.

She saw flames shooting up from the basement outside their window. Nick’s mom and the dogs were able to escape to safety.

But Nick, his parents, brother, and sister, were left with only the clothes on their backs. Roscoe is a tight-knit community.

The local fire department rallied to fundraise and replace clothing and household items. The family’s insurance company worked on replacing their home, in its entirety. Over the next 18 months, the family was able to live in a residence next door so they could watch the reconstruction of their new home on their old property. “Everything was replaced to a tee,” said Nick.

Fast forward to July 2023. In the wake of what happened, at age 24, Nick has decided to go into business and become an insurance agent at the same company that helped him – launching a vocation that assists others prevent and recover from tragedies.

As one of his first acts since opening his business, Nick is providing $1,500 in kickoff donations to the Harlem-Roscoe Fire Department for fire prevention awareness programs. When Nick reached out to the Harlem-Roscoe Fire District with news of the donation, Fire Chief John Bergeron asked: “Why us?”

Nick reminded him how his department helped his family rebuild after their tragedy. For Nick, it’s a chance to help those who helped him – and team with local firefighters to ensure such a tragedy never befalls anyone in his hometown ever again.

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