Fatal fire in Foosland under investigation

Fatal fire in Foosland under investigation

FOOSLAND - Fire officials are trying to determine what caused a fire at a rural Foosland home where a woman was found dead early Tuesday morning.

Champaign County Sheriff’s Lt. Curt Apperson said Shirley Stewart, 77, died in a fire at her home at 3450 B on County Road 450 E, about two miles northeast of Foosland.

Sgt. Dave Sherrick said firefighters from the Sangamon Valley Fire Protection District and sheriff’s deputies were sent to the home about 10:12 p.m. Monday.

"Someone from Ford County saw a glow. It sits off the road quite a ways. It's a long lane ... There are several houses spread out in a wooded area. The fire trucks had to wait for snow plows to get there," he said.

"By the time firefighters got there, there wasn't much left," Sherrick said. 

The home is near the Sangamon River.

Sherrick said Sangamon Valley firefighters put out the fire and got help from Gibson City's fire department, which tanked in water.

The Illinois State Fire Marshal was called to investigate although Sherrick said there was nothing obviously suspicious about the fire. The single-story home was destroyed.

Sherrick said firefighters cleared the scene shortly after 4 a.m. and the coroner and deputies left about 5 a.m.

Despite the dangerously cold weather, Sherrick said no firefighters were hurt. 

Apperson said Mrs. Stewart lived alone in the home. Her daughter lives nearby.

An autopsy is scheduled for Wednesday, he said.


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