Authorities report fatal fire early Tuesday

A fatality was reported in the aftermath of a residential fire which occurred early Tuesday morning at 9960 Lick Creek Rd., Buncombe.

Union County Sheriff Scott Harvel reported in a news release that at approximately 10:10 a.m. Tuesday, a body was recovered from the aftermath of the fire with the assistance of the responding fire departments and the Union County Highway Department.

"The victim is believed to be home owner, Lou Etta Rion, age 87," the news release reported.

The fire was reported at about 2:44 a.m. Tuesday at a single-story residence in Lick Creek. The residence was completely destroyed.

A neighbor had called 911 to report the fire and stated that an elderly woman lived in the home; the caller was unsure if the person was home.

The Anna Fire and Rescue Department responded to the call. The Cobden Fire Department was called in for mutual aid to assist in fighting the fire.

When firefighters arrived at the scene, they found the house fully engulfed in flames.

The Illinois State Marshal's office was contacted for an investigation. The fire marshal's office contacted the Illinois State Police crime scene investigator and the Union County Sheriff's Office for assistance.

At approximately 7 a.m., the fire was under control, the Cobden Fire Department was released and the investigators, with assistance from the Union County Highway Department, began searching the home's remains.

At approximately 10:10 a.m., a body was discovered in the remains, and at approximately 11 a.m., the body was removed from the scene and transported by the Union County coroner.

At that time, the Dongola Fire Department was called in for mutual aid to assist Anna in overhaul operations.

An investigation into the cause of the fire continues. The investigation included the Anna Fire Department, the Illinois State Fire Marshal's Office, the Illinois State Police and the Union County Sheriff's Office.

An autopsy of the victim was planned Tuesday evening, Aug. 2.

(The Anna Fire Department voiced its appreciation to Pizza Hut in Anna for donating lunch to the firefighters who worked at the scene.)

The Gazette-Democrat

112 Lafayette St.
Anna, Illinois 62906
Office Number: (618) 833-2158

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