A fire early Monday morning in Sterling, Ill., claimed the life of a 71-year-old man, who was trapped inside the home, according to the Sterling Fire Department.
Crews from Sterling and Rock Falls Fire Departments, with CGH EMS, responded around 3:05 a.m. to a reported structure fire in the 1400 block of Johnson Avenue. Upon arrival, fire crews found a well involved two-story house with one person trapped in the rear first-floor bedroom, the release said.
Crews were able to enter the bedroom window and successfully rescue the trapped 71-year-old male occupant. The injured occupant was then transported to CGH Medical Center and airlifted to Loyola Hospital, where he was said to have succumbed to the injuries, the release said. The other occupant, a female, was also transported to CGH Medical center. She was treated and listed in critical condition. Names are being withheld at this time, pending notification of relatives.
The fire started on the front of the home and spread rapidly through the entire first floor. Crews remained on scene for approximately 5 hours. Sterling Fire was assisted on scene by Rock Falls Fire, Dixon City Fire Department, Dixon Rural Fire Department, and Milledgeville Fire Department. Polo Fire stood by at Sterling Fire Department and Prophetstown Fire Protection District stood by at Rock Falls Fire Department during the incident.
The fire is under investigation by the Office of the State Fire Marshal, Illinois Crime Scene Technicians and Sterling Fire Department Investigators; as well as Sterling Police Department Detectives.