Buckley man dies in Memorial Day house fire

Buckley man dies in Memorial Day house fire

BUCKLEY — An elderly man died in a house fire in Buckley early Monday morning.

Iroquois County Coroner Bill Cheatum said Larry L. Swindle, 79, was unable to escape the two-story home at 209 E. Main St. after the fire started around 1 a.m.

Mr. Swindle was pronounced dead at 7:12 a.m., Cheatum said.

An autopsy was performed Monday, showing that Mr. Swindle likely died as a result of smoke inhalation. However, the coroner noted he was still waiting on toxicology results to "see about the carbon monoxide level."

No inquest will be held, Cheatum said.

Cheatum said Mr. Swindle was living in the home with his daughter and son-in-law, who were both inside at the time the fire started but were able to escape.

Also able to escape was Mr. Swindle's grandson, who was visiting.

When the fire was discovered, one of the people in the home went to a neighbor's house and had the neighbor call 911, Cheatum said.

How the fire started was not immediately known, but Cheatum said it appeared to be accidental. Cheatum said he had spoken with an investigator for the state fire marshal's office, who told Cheatum that it was going to be difficult to "pinpoint" the cause because "there's so much structure damage."

"Half the structure is gone — in the basement," Cheatum said.

Multiple fire departments responded to the blaze, including those from Buckley, Loda, Paxton, Thawville, Cissna Park, Onarga and Gilman, according to Paxton Fire Chief Denny Kingren.

Kingren said his agency brought its ladder truck to fight the blaze shortly after 1 a.m.

"Paxton was up there at least five hours, until about 6 a.m.," Kingren said.

Sections (2):News, Local