A man faces arson and murder charges after an investigation revealed a fire that killed someone Sunday was intentionally set.
Donald A. Denniston, 38, has been charged with aggravated arson and first degree murder, the Galesburg Police Department announced Wednesday.
A joint investigation conducted by the Galesburg Police Department, the Galesburg Fire Department and the Knox County State’s Attorney’s Office indicated that the fire had been intentionally set.
The Galesburg Police Department and Galesburg Fire Department responded to the 200 block of Pine Street after a report of a house on fire. A man was found in front of a residence suffering from burn injuries from being inside the house. The man was helped away from the house, treated and eventually transported to a hospital burn unit, but told officials that a woman was still inside.
After getting the fire — which forced neighboring houses to be evacuated — under control, the Galesburg Fire Department located the body of Katrina Hainline, 60, inside the home.
EARLIER UPDATE: One person, whose identity was not being released Sunday, has died after a structure fire early Sunday in Galesburg.
The Galesburg Fire Department responded to a report of a house fully engulfed by flames at 1:45 a.m. in the 200 block of Pine Street, a news release says. Battalion Chief David Farrell immediately requested extra crews.
Fires during sub-zero temperatures present especially dangerous and challenging problems, the release says. Firefighters experience higher levels of fatigue battling the temperatures, freezing water and trying to maneuver in snow and ice.
Six firefighters were called back to help rotate crews at the scene and provide emergency coverage for the city. The Galesburg Street Department was called in for equipment and additional salt on Pine Street.
The house had been placarded as unfit for habitation by the City of Galesburg.
The fire is under investigation by Galesburg Fire Investigators, Galesburg Police Detectives and the Office of the State Fire Marshal.