LOST NATION – Two adults and four children – all members of the same family – died in a house fire at 204 N. Miami Drive shortly after midnight Tuesday, the Ogle County Sheriff’s Department said.
Dead are Timothy Shaw, 39, Melissa Shaw, 37, and their children, Ethan, 17, LeAnne, 15, Hailey, 12, and Dylan, 11.
Ethan Shaw called 911 shortly after midnight, reporting there was smoke in the basement and he was trapped, the sheriff’s department said in a news release. When firefighters arrived, the house was fully engulfed.
Autopsies done Tuesday determined that all of the victims died of smoke inhalation, according to Ogle County Coroner Louis Finch.
One of the bodies was found on the second floor, four were found on the first floor, and one was located in the basement.
Dixon Public Schools Superintendent Margo Empen said the four children all attended Dixon schools – two attended Dixon High, one Reagan Middle, and one Madison Elementary.
“We are extremely saddened by the loss of members of our Dixon public school family. We have counselors at buildings providing support to students and staff,” Empen said.
The sheriff’s department, state fire marshal and the State Police crime scene unit are investigating.
Authorities haven’t found anything suspicious about the fire, Sheriff Brian VanVickle told The Associated Press.
It took firefighters 17 minutes from the time the call was made to make it to the scene, and by the time they arrived, the two-story home, which had an attached garage, was fully involved, Dixon Rural Fire Capt. Isaac Dimmig said. They cleared the scene at 8:54 a.m.
Dixon City, Franklin Grove, Sterling, Polo, Ashton, Oregon and Mount Morris fire departments also responded.
It’s the worst fire in the Sauk Valley since a blaze on Jan. 13, 2016, took the lives of five members of a Rock Falls family.
Patrick Hopkins, 61, his wife, Mary (Adams) Hopkins, 49, their daughter Maggie, 26, son Donovan, 16, and daughter Katie Jo, 13, died in the fire at their two-story home at 414 Second Ave.
The exact cause of that fire which began in the downstairs living room, never was determined, but there were strong indications it was electrical in nature, fire officials said at the time.
On Nov. 10, a fire in a two-story home at 209 W. Second St., in Leaf River killed 19-year-old volunteer firefighter Greg Wood and sent his father and brother to the hospital.
His father, Marcus Wood, 43, deputy chief of the Leaf River’s volunteer fire department, and Travis, 16, a cadet firefighter, have since been released from Rockford hospitals.
The cause of that fire has not been determined.