When firefighters got to the two-story brick home in the 400 block of Julian Street, in Waukegan, they were hampered not only by smoke and flames, but also by hundreds of rounds of bullets.
"Our crews did report that they heard a lot of what sounded like bullets going off," said Waukegan Fire Marshal Steve Lenzi.
The fire was finally brought under control at about 8 a.m., about 2.5 hours after firefighters first responded. The home was totally destroyed.
A man in his 50s was killed in the fire, Lake County Coroner Dr. Richard Keller confirmed. An autopsy later Monday found that the man died of a gunshot wound to the head, then was burned after his death.
The man's death "looks to be a suicide," Keller said.
A semi-automatic weapon was also removed from the home.
The man's identity remained unknown as of Monday evening. Keller said the man was burned so badly that his office was still working on determining his identity.
Wright said one else was in the home, and the man's body was removed just before 10 a.m.
It was unclear where in the home the fire began and the cause remains under investigation.
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