Des Plaines Police and Fire departments responded to a house fire report in the 1000 block of Irwin Avenue shortly after midnight on Oct. 8, according to statements made by the departments on Monday. The homeowner, later identified at Ronald Kauke, called 9-1-1 after discovering the fire, Fire Chief Alan Wax stated in an email to Patch, and, after an unsuccessful attempt to get to his adult daughter, exited the house.
Kauke and a police officer who also entered the house to try and get to the woman inside were evaluated by paramedics on the scene for smoke inhalation, Wax said, and released at the scene.
The woman, later identifed as Sandra Lupy, 48, was found deceased in bed in a bedroom on the lower level of the house, and was taken to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office, Wax stated. A pet dog also perished in the fire.
Wax stated it was determined that the fire started in or around the bed where the Lupy was found.
“Appliances, heating and electrical have been ruled-out as causes,” Wax stated. “Investigators have not yet determined a definitive cause, but smoking has not been ruled-out.”
Illinois State Fire Marshal investigators are assisting the Des Plaines Fire Investigation Team to determine a cause, Wax said.
The Fire Department was dispatched at 12:05 a.m., Wax stated.
“On arrival five minutes later, crews found that the house was engulfed, with heavy fire from every window and through the roof — conditions that are not compatible with survival,” Wax stated.
The fire was completely extinguished within 25 minutes, Wax said.
The Des Plaines Fire Department responded to the call with three engines, two ladder trucks, three ambulances, a shift commander and command staff officers, Wax stated. The Elk Grove Village, Rosemont, Mount Prospect, North Maine, Elk Grove Township and Glenview fire departments also responded and provided support. The citizen volunteers of the Des Plaines Fire Corps were also on-hand to provide scene support, lighting, and traffic control, Wax said.