Benton Evening News - Benton, IL
  • 2 fatalities reported at house fire in Christopher

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  • Franklin County Coroner Marty Leffler confirmed the death of two Christopher residents during a house fire Wednesday night.
    “A 911 call went out at 9:39 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 30, reported by a neighbor that a house was on fire at 210 W. Sylvia St. in Christopher,” Leffler said.
    Christopher Fire Department, Christopher Police and Abbott Ambulance responded to the scene, Leffler said.
    “Two known individuals were inside the residence,” Leffler said. “A male subject was removed from the living-room area, and a female resident was found in bed. The male, with no vitals, was placed in an Abbott Ambulance unit, and the female was transported by West Frankfort Fire Department and Ambulance to the Herrin Hospital emergency room, where she was pronounced as deceased upon arrival.”
    The victims were Christopher V. Pyles, 38 and Mary Sue Plumlee, 33, both of 210 W. Sylvia St. in Christopher, he said.
    Autopsies in coordination with the Williamson County and Franklin County coroner’s offices are pending, Leffler said.
    The Illinois State Fire Marshal’s Office, the Christopher Police Department, and the Franklin and Willliamson County coroner’s offices are investigating the fatal fire, Leffler said.
    Christopher Fire Chief Charles Lutes said first responders from Coello searched inside the home and first located the man.
    “They brought him out and immediately started doing CPR,” Lutes said. “They went back in and found the woman and brought her outside.”
    Lutes said the home is not a total loss.
    “The house is pretty airtight, which probably saved the house next door,” Lutes said.
    “First responders from Zeigler also assisted, which really helped us a lot. Buckner provided backup for us.”
    He said the cause of the fire remains under investigation.
    “A couple of rooms of the house were gutted by the fire,” Lutes said. “It appears to be a front room with a divider. The ceiling and attic also sustained damage.”
    As investigation continues, the fire chief said he does not believe the fire was suspicious in nature.
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