EAST GALESBURG, Illinois (WQAD) — A family in East Galesburg is recovering after a fire destroyed their home January 26th, 2021. The Corbin family puts on a light show every holiday season, The Corbin Light Show. Despite the fire ripping through their house, their now trying to figure out how to prepare for the show next year.
Every December the Corbin’s front yard glows bright with the Christmas display. Darryl Corbin says Tuesday night him and his wife were sitting in the family room, completely unaware to the fact that their attic had caught fire. Corbin saying, “We were in the front room eating a bowl of chili. We didn’t even know what was going on until I came out front and saw the flames shooting out of the roof.”
The fire spread through the house, burning through the majority of the roof. The fire department says the cause of the fire is unknown. The family is now waiting for insurance agents to come through before they can get back inside their home.
Darryl Corbin says for him it is an especially devastating loss because of the fact that he built the home for his family all himself. “To stand here and watch something that I built 30 years ago my own self, to stand here and you can’t do anything about it, it’s just hard.”
His daughter Brandi Corbin grew up in the house. She helps with the Christmas display every year. She says she hopes the show is back by next year, but there’s just no way to tell yet. “It’s heartbreaking knowing it won’t be up next year. I’m hoping things can get up to that point because that could be one of the greatest Christmas gifts we could get.”
The show typically draws giant crowds. The Corbin’s saying they’ll even get buses full of residents from local nursing homes, all for a peek at the glowing lights and music.
Darryl says for him his favorite part is dressing up as Santa Clause, something he couldn’t do this year due to COVID-19. “Just to see the smile on their face would put a warmth in your heart like you’ve never felt. It’s kind of like the movie Scrooge, you know when Scrooge finally turned around and his heart grew and he felt so good. It’s like that.”
The family also takes donations for the FISH of Galesburg. It’s a local food pantry. Each year a box is put out to collect nonperishable items that then go to FISH. This year the family just did cash donations instead, another restriction due to the pandemic.
The family is waiting now for the ground to unfreeze and get the current decorations out of the ground. They say neighbors and friends have already said they’ll be all hands on deck next winter to do whatever it takes to get the show back up again. Brandi Corbin saying, “I’ve got friends asking when can we start, we’re going to come set up.”
It’s a group of neighbors showing some holiday spirit, long past the holiday season.
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