90-year-old dies in house fire

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DECATUR, Ill. (WAND) - The Macon County Coroner's Office released the name of a man who died in a Tuesday night house fire.

One person died in the fire at a home near the intersection of Maffit and Moore, and another person was airlifted to Memorial Hospital in Springfield, firefighters reported.  The coroner's office says the deceased was identified as 90-year-old Curtis Taylor. 

A woman named Kathy Clark said she first saw smoke coming from the house while visiting a friend nearby.

“When I got out of my car, I could see smoke coming out of the top of a window there on the side of the house,” Clark said. “I know those people, so I just took off running across the street and yelling their names trying to get somebody to respond and call 911 while I tried to get the basement door open.”

Clark said another man nearby tried to help too.

“The front door was open, but the screen door was shut. I opened it and smoke just started rolling out, so I couldn’t go in there at all,” Clark said. “I went around to the side door, and I couldn’t go in there at all … I just communicated with the dispatch until someone got here. It’s about all I could do.”

Clark said firefighters arrived at the scene very quickly. Firefighters found one person on the first floor and another in the basement. They removed both people to the front yard.

Abbott said firefighters are still investigating the cause of the fire, although a later press release said the fire began in the kitchen . Abbott said a dog also died in the fire.  The house had smoke alarms, according to the release.

An autopsy on Curtis is scheduled for Wednesday afternoon.

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