One found dead in home near Latham after Sunday morning house fire

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UPDATED: The Logan County Coroner has identified the person found dead in the home as Melva M. Behrens, 58.

LOGAN COUNTY - The Latham Fire Protection District says fire crews found the remains of a person at a home that was engulfed by fire Sunday morning.

Latham Fire Protection District officials tell WAND News that firefighters responded to a report of a fire at an isolated home near Latham at about 8:00 a.m. on January 17.  Upon arriving, firefighters say they saw the home fully engulfed in flames.

According to authorities, fire crews originally were told that no one was inside the home at the time of the fire.  However, firefighters later learned that someone was inside the home, and upon searching, crews found he body of resident Melva M. Behrens, 58, according to the Logan County Coroner's Office. Ms. Behrens was pronounced dead at 8:36 Sunday morning. An autopsy has been performed and results are pending, authorities said.

The Latham Fire Protection District adds that the cold temperatures provided an additional challenge, as the water used to extinguish the flames eventually froze, leading to an abundance of ice.

The fire and death are under investigation by the Logan County Sheriff's Department, the Illinois State Fire Marshal's Office and the Logan County Coroner's office, according to a news release from the coroner's office. Fricke, Calvert & Schrader Funeral Home in Mt. Pulaski is handling the arrangement, according to the same news release.

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