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Berwyn officials investigating fatal house fire

Published: Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014 4:11 p.m. CDT • Updated: Thursday, Feb. 6, 2014 11:12 a.m. CDT

BERWYN – Berwyn fire and police officials are investigating the death of a woman who was found in a burning house shortly after 7 a.m. Wednesday.

Fire Chief Denis O'Halloran said a 911 call from a neighbor reported flames shooting out of the front picture window of the brick bungalow at 2437 Scoville Ave.

Deputy Chief Paul Gardner happened to be driving in the area at that time and noticed smoke. Gardner immediately drove to the scene of the fire, where a neighbor told him there might be people inside the burning home.

Gardner forced open a rear door and ran up the stairs to the second floor to search for victims, but was beaten back by smoke and flames, O'Halloran said.

Fire crews arrived moments later and initiated a quick attack of the fire, fighting the blaze as they searched. A first floor crew found the woman in the living room and brought her outside to waiting paramedics.

She was taken to MacNeal Hospital where she was pronounced dead. The identity of the woman, described as being in her 60s, has not been released.

The fire was extinguished in about 25 minutes, O'Halloran said. Firefighters from Stickney, North Riverside, Forest Park and Cicero assisted.

State and Berwyn fire investigators are working to determine the cause of the fire, which is believed to have started in the living room.

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