Updated: Fire marshal investigates fatal Clinton fire

Updated: Fire marshal investigates fatal Clinton fire

Updated 1:35 p.m. Tuesday.

CLINTON — The Illinois state fire marshal's office is investigating the death of a Clinton man killed in a house fire early Tuesday.

DeWitt County Coroner Randall Rice said Douglas C. Fleming, 87, died as a result of a fire at his home at 321 S. Walnut St., Clinton.

Rice said Clinton police and firefighters are also investigating. Mr. Fleming had been rushed from the home and was pronounced dead at John Warner Hospital.

His son, Michael Fleming, was living with him and received what Rice described as light burns on the back of his neck. A second person who was temporarily staying in the home suffered smoke inhalation. His identity was not released.

Clinton Fire Chief Shawn Milton said the fire was reported about 1:50 a.m. Tuesday and was apparently started by a pan that the younger Fleming put on the stove to cook, then left unattended.

"He came back and it was on fire," said Milton, adding that investigators from the fire marshal's office were trying to locate him and the other man to pinpoint what happened.

Milton said the fire was pretty much contained to the kitchen of the single-story home, which he estimated to have 1,500 square feet of living space. Fire damage was heavy to the kitchen but there was heat and smoke damage to the nearby living room and smoke throughout the home.

The flames did not get as far as Douglas Fleming's bedroom, said Milton.

"His bedroom door was shut," said the chief.

About 30 firefighters from Clinton, plus volunteer crews from Kenney and Wapella also fought the blaze. One firefighter was treated at the hospital with an elevated blood pressure, Milton said.

Although they had the fire struck and Mr. Fleming out of the house within 12 minutes, firefighters remained at the scene about three hours.

Milton said a neighbor reported the fire after Mr. Fleming's son escaped from the home.

He estimated damage to the home at $20,000.

Sections (2):News, Local
Location (3):Local, Clinton, DeWitt County
Tags (1):fatal fire