Updated: Man dies after Urbana house fire

Updated: Man dies after Urbana house fire

URBANA — An elderly man was pronounced dead after a house fire Monday night in Urbana, according to a fire official.

Urbana Fire Marshal Phil Edwards said Tuesday morning that a 96-year-old man died after he was pulled from the fire at 605 W. Michigan Ave. He had been taken to Carle Foundation Hospital.

The man's brother-in-law, Nicholas Temperley, told The News-Gazette on Tuesday morning that the decedent is William Sleator. According to Champaign County property records, Mr. Sleator owned the home.

No one else was in the home at the time of the fire, Edwards said.

Temperley said Mr. Sleator moved to Urbana in 1969 to head the physiology department at the University of Illinois. He has been incapacitated in recent years, Temperley said, and has been watched over by caretakers.

Mr. Sleator has two surviving sons, Temperley said. He has a daughter and a son who preceded him in death. Mr. Sleator enjoyed playing viola.

Firefighters were called to the home at 10:43 p.m. Monday. According to initial reports, the fire was in the back side of the house.

Part of the second floor collapsed onto the first floor about 11:15 p.m., and the fire was spreading to the attic.

At midnight, Urbana firefighters requested mutual aid assistance from the Savoy Fire Department.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation, Edwards said. He reminded people to check on their elderly relatives or friends.

"Check on them often, and think of fire safety with the elderly, especially with those that may need a little extra help," Edwards said.

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cugirl2 wrote on December 24, 2013 at 10:12 am

Just tasteless NG... Original story officials had not yet released the name. However, NG reporter looked up victim through Champaign property record tax search... You could have waited for officials to release victims name.

ROB McCOLLEY wrote on December 24, 2013 at 7:12 pm
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They were informed by his next-of-kin. The neighbors probably already had an inkling there was something wrong.


Whose sensibilities do you seek to protect?