First Arriving Network
First Arriving Network

Suspicious Fire Claims 4 Family Members in Illinois

All Victims Believed to be Children

A HOUSE FIRE IN PERCY, ILLINOIS, early Friday morning took the lives of four residents and hospitalized a fifth.  The fire was reported around 2 am when the house was already well involved.


The St. Louis Post-Dispatch is reporting:

Shirley Hornbostel, who lives about two houses away from the home that burned, said she heard the sirens this morning and looked outside. "I looked out my window and it was just in flames," she said. "Flames were coming out the roof and windows."

Hornbostel said the parents went to the hospital with a boy who suffered smoke inhalation. Hornbostel talked with the children's grandmother, who was outside on the street as investigators sifted through the rubble. "I felt like I owed her my sympathy," Hornbostel said. "She said four of my grandchildren are gone."

The grandmother told neighbors that investigators were looking at arson as a possibility because a gas can was found in the yard and the tires on two vehicles had been slashed.

The coroner declined to comment on the report of a gasoline can or slashed tires. "We're not releasing any information just yet," he said.

Randolph County Coroner Randy Dudenbostel confirmed Friday morning that the fire is considered suspicious.  He has not yet released the names or ages of the fatalities.

KMOV-TV St. Louis has provided some raw video taken from their helicopter:


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