Two dead following Chicago Heights fire

2013-05-17T14:59:00Z 2013-05-17T22:58:15Z Two dead following Chicago Heights fireTimes Staff nwitimes.com
May 17, 2013 2:59 pm  • 

CHICAGO HEIGHTS | A man and a woman are dead after a fire in a Chicago Heights home early Friday.

The pair were pronounced dead at Franciscan St. James Health hospital in Chicago Heights, a spokesman for the Cook County medical examiner's office said.

The cause of death is pending. The deceased had not been officially identified as of Friday afternoon, the spokesman said. NBC5 News reported the deceased were a married couple, identified by family members as 47-year-old Lillian Hill Harrison and 43-year-old Lemont Harrison, an amputee.

"Their bedroom's upstairs, so they were probably up there asleep, and the fire went so fast," Lillian Hill Harrison's father, Charles Cowan, told NBC5 News.

The two were pulled from the burning home in the 200 block of East 24th Street shortly after 1 a.m., authorities said.

The fire marshal has ruled that the fire was not electrical in nature nor the result of any criminal activity, Chicago Heights Fire Chief James Angell said.

There were smoke detectors in the home but they were not working, Angell said.

Angell said firefighters got the call at 12:59 a.m. and arrived to find heavy fire in the front of the two-story wood frame house with vinyl siding. He said firefighters entered from the back and went upstairs, where they discovered the victims.

He said a cause of the fire is pending autopsy results. He said the home, which he estimated is about 100 years old, was heavily damaged.

Angell said firefighters from South Chicago Heights, Glenwood, Flossmoor, Frankfort, Homewood, Matteson and Park Forest responded to the scene. Firefighters from Crete Township, Frankfort and Sauk Village and a Homewood ambulance crew staffed other departments' stations.

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