Names Released of 5 Victims, Including 3 Children, Killed in Illinois Fire

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A coroner's office has identified five people, including three children, who were killed last week in a fire at a farmhouse in rural northern Illinois near the Wisconsin border.

The Boone County Coroner’s Office on Friday identified the fire victims as five siblings: Emanuel J. McConnaughay, 24; Elizabeth S.J. McConnaughay, 20; Danika G. Tatman, 14; Zophia L. Tatman, 13; and 9-year-old Aniela L. Tatman.

All five lived in the house outside the small Boone County town of Garden Prairie that caught fire early Monday morning. The emergency response was slowed by foul weather and an unmanned fire station, and by the time firefighters arrived the farmhouse about 15 miles (24.1 kilometers) south of the Wisconsin border it was engulfed in flames.

Preliminary results from forensic autopsies conducted Wednesday indicate that the fire victims died from smoke inhalation, the Rockford Register Star reported.

According to the family’s GoFundMe post, the victims’ mother, Jennifer, and brother Raymond, 20, were in critical condition in the burn unit of a local hospital on Monday.

On Wednesday, Boone County Fire Protection District 2 Chief Brian Kunce said the two people who were hospitalized from the fire were still in intensive care.

Five other people, including the victims’ father, were treated and released after the fire.

The fire's cause remains under investigation by the Illinois State Fire Marshal, Illinois State Police and the Boone County Sheriff’s Office.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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