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RIVER GROVE, Ill. (AP) — A wind-driven house fire killed three members of a suburban Chicago family, including a 91-year-old woman, and left fourth person hospitalized, authorities said.
River Grove Fire Chief Sean Flynn said Wednesday morning’s fire began in a garage and spread to the rest of the home in Chicago’s western suburbs. He said firefighters faced high winds and frozen fire hydrants as they struggled to extinguish the blaze.
Three hours after the fire started, the bodies of three relatives were found inside the gutted home. Michelle Owrey, 28, and John Owrey, 61, were found dead on the second floor, and Marilyn Owrey Hennig, 91, was found dead on the first floor, said the Cook County medical examiner’s office.
A 56-year-old man who escaped from the burning home and suffered smoke inhalation was taken to Loyola University Medical Center, where his condition was stabilized.
The cause of the fire was under investigation by the River Grove Fire Department and the office of the state fire marshal.
Flynn said it was unclear if there was a working smoke detector in the home.
“The fire was so intense that we can’t tell if there were smoke detectors,” he told the Chicago Tribune.