One dead, three injured in Villa Park morning blaze
A woman is dead and three others were injured -- including two police officers -- following an early morning fire Saturday in Villa Park.
Officers responded to the fire at a single-family home on the 300 block of North Lincoln Avenue at 6:25 a.m. after neighbors said the elderly man who lived in the house was seen running up and down the block crying for help.
Villa Park Deputy Police Chief William Lyons said the call initially came in as a request for assistance at the house, but soon afterward neighbors alerted 911 that a fire had broken out at the two-story home. That's why police were first on the scene.
Authorities said a woman was found dead inside, but did not release her name immediately as next of kin were still being notified. The man who lived in the house suffered minor injuries and was treated at an area hospital. His condition is unknown, but the injuries are not considered life threatening, police said.
Lyons said the first responding officers tried to make entry in the back of the house, but were overcome by smoke. They were treated and released from an area hospital for smoke inhilation, he added.
By Saturday afternoon, windows along the second floor of the home were boarded up. Smoke damage could be seen around windows at the rear of the home. Neighbors said they didn't initially see any fire when they were roused out of their sleep by the man's pleas for help. One neighbor, who asked not to be identified, said her husband had to stop the man from going back inside the house before authorities arrived.
Neighbor Karl Kampen said the couple who lived in the house had been there longer than anyone on the block -- at least three decades.
He said the couple often watched their grandchildren at the home and that they were well liked in the neighborhood.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation, but Lyons said there was no "outward indication of foul play."