Probe of Western Illinois Fire That Killed 5 Continues

Image courtesy WQAD-TV


By Aaron Hepker

SHERRARD, Ill. (AP) — Autopsies are planned for a woman and four children who died in a fire that raced through a western Illinois mobile home.

Mercer County Sheriff Tom Thompson says the remains of the victims of Wednesday's blaze near tiny Sherrard were taken Thursday to a Bloomington medical examiner for post-mortem examinations. Their names haven't been released.

Coroner Ron McNall says the fire killed an adult woman, and the oldest child killed was 15 years old. A man and two boys escaped.

Thompson says there's no indication the fire was the result of foul play, though state and Mercer County authorities are trying to determine what caused the blaze.

With about 640 residents, Sherrard is 180 miles west of Chicago and just south of the Quad Cities.

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