One Dead Following Overnight Fire on Hunt Drive

NORMAL – The Normal Fire Department and Kathy Davis, the McLean County Coroner are releasing the following information in regards to the incident that occurred at 1538 Hunt Drive in Normal, IL early this morning.
Normal Fire Department responded to 1538 Hunt Drive, a four unit, two story condominium building, just after midnight for the report of a possible structure fire. Neighbors reported seeing smoke coming from the building and called 911.
First arriving engine companies initially reported heavy smoke conditions and upgraded the call to a second alarm which requests a Rapid Intervention Team from Bloomington Fire Department and pages in all off-duty Normal Fire personnel. As firefighters advanced into the structure to fight the fire, heavy smoke and fire conditions were reported inside Unit C. Firefighters located an unresponsive subject lying on the floor in the kitchen of Unit C and removed them from the structure to receive medical attention. Despite all efforts of the firefighters and the paramedics, the victim was unable to be resuscitated and was pronounced dead at the scene.
McLean County Coroner’s Office personnel were notified at approximately 12:35 a.m. and responded to the scene. Pronounced deceased at 01:09 a.m. was a 68-year-old female. An autopsy is scheduled for later today, August 6, 2017. No further information is being released by the Coroner’s Office at this time pending notification of family.
Almost immediately after the victim was removed from the building, there was a collapse of the roof structure and firefighters were forced to evacuate the structure and fight the fire defensively from the exterior using hose lines and the aerial ladder truck. Once the fire was brought back under control, firefighters re-entered the structure to continue firefighting operations. The fire took about an hour and fifteen minutes to get completely under control, and firefighters continued overhauling the structure looking for hot spots for about another hour or so after that.
After primary firefighting operations were complete, firefighters were able to rescue one dog from Unit B, and a cat from Unit D. Both were given oxygen treatments at the scene and appeared to have no life threatening injuries. The occupants were advised to follow up with a veterinarian at their earliest convenience.
The fire appears to have originated in Unit C and spread to the roof above it and to the adjacent units. There was heavy fire, smoke, and water damage to unit C, and moderate water and smoke damage to units B and D. Unit A experienced smoke conditions and likely has damage from water and smoke as well. The entire building was deemed unsafe for anyone to remain following the fire and residents were staying with relatives for the night.
A full damage estimate is not available at this time. Insurance adjusters will be working at the scene later today once the fire investigation is complete.
Firefighters started clearing the scene after 3:30 this morning, but the aerial truck and reserve engine companies remained at the scene to assist the fire investigators as they work to determine the cause of the fire.
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