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Victims of rural Pawnee fire identified

Coroner’s offices in Christian and Sangamon Counties have released the names of the victims involved in the rural Pawnee fire which happened early Sunday morning, Dec. 19, 2021.

Sangamon County Coroner Jim Allmon, identified one of the victims as Gary Conner, 70, of Pawnee.

Mr. Conner had been transported by EMS Sunday morning to St. John’s Hospital in Springfield for treatment. He was pronounced dead at 10:42 a.m. Sunday.

Preliminary autopsy results indicate Mr. Conner died of smoke inhalation.

In the second fatality, Christian County Coroner Amy Calvert-Winans identified the female found deceased in the home as 59-year-old Patricia E. Smith of Pawnee. She was pronounced dead at the scene by the coroner’s office at 8:58 a.m.

On Monday, an autopsy

was held in Bloomington for Ms. Smith and preliminary autopsy results indicate that she died of carbon monoxide intoxication due to inhalation of smoke and soot due to a house fire. Toxicology results are pending.

Both coroner’s offices said an investigation into the fire

was underway by the Illinois State Fire Marshal Office.

Six fire departments and seven other agencies responded to the fire at 414 E 1525N Road in rural Pawnee. The Christian County Sheriff’s Office reported the fire alarm was called in about 7:15 a.m. Sunday.

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