Dec. 19--Two people were found dead and two remain hospitalized following a house fire in Naperville this morning.
A neighbor called 911 at about 6:50 a.m. and reported a fire at a two-story home in the 1200 block of Field Court, according to Naperville Fire Department Bureau Chief Mark Thurow.
Firefighters rescued a 21-year-old man who was transported to Edward Hospital in critical condition. An 84-year-old man and 56-year-old woman also were taken to the hospital, but their injuries are not believed to be life-threatening, Thurow said. As of 5:30 p.m. one was being treated at Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood and one was still at Edward Hospital. The third had been released, according to Edward Hospital.
Shannon O'Brien, who also lives on Field Court, said something woke her up about 6:30 a.m., but she didn't see anything out her window. It was just a short time later as she was eating breakfast that her daughter said she believed the neighbor's home was on fire. She also saw a dog from the home in her front yard and took it inside.
"At that point the house was fully engulfed on the garage side," O'Brien said.
Field Court resident Sean Burke awoke about the same time when he heard emergency vehicles. At first he could see small flames, but within about 15 minutes the fire had grown.
"The blaze really took off and got really large," he said.
He said he could hear firefighters talking over their radios that people were trapped upstairs.
He also noticed several ambulances on the scene that weren't transporting people.
"It was pretty obvious it wasn't going to have a happy ending completely there," he said.
About 10 minutes after their arrival, firefighters were forced to evacuate the home "due to the danger of structural collapse," according to Thurow.
Two occupants of the home, a 57-year-old man and his 56-year-old wife, were initially unaccounted for, Thurow said. When it was safe for firefighters to reenter the home, they found that the second floor had collapsed and two bodies were found in the basement.
"(The second floor) had fallen through to the basement, basically," Deputy Fire Chief Rick Sander said.
DuPage County Coroner Richard Jorgensen said it could be another day or two until his office can confirm the identities of the two people who died.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation. Thurow confirmed there were oxygen tanks in the home. He said via email such tanks are rarely the source of the fire, but also that "oxygen fuels the fire and allows more rapid combustion."
He also said damage was estimated at more than $200,000 and the house will be torn down after crews are finished investigating the rubble.
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