SOUTH ROXANA, IL (KTVI) – A man possibly using a wood burning stove to help stay warm died after his home caught fire early Monday morning on Stephenson Avenue in South Roxana.
The body of the elderly man who lived alone at the home was found inside the home after the flames were put out. Authorities have identified the victim as Amil D. Goskie, 78.
It was an intense fire that quickly grew to two alarms. Firefighters got the call a little after 4:30am Monday.
“We arrived on scene. Police officers were already on scene- fully involved structure fire, fire through the back part of the house, already through the roof, heavy flame,” explained Ed Allsman, chief of the South Roxana Fire Protection District.
Investigators believe the fire started in the back of the home in the area of a wood burning stove.
Goskie’s body was found in that back part of the house.
Chief Allsman says the home did have another heating source besides the wood burning stove, but he believes the stove could have been used to help warm the home, “That was one of the heat sources back in that area of the house, so I think it was just more of a comfortable type atmosphere, like I said a living area for relaxing and more of a family room.”
Sarah Scott lives across the street and was awakened by the fire trucks. She called Goskie kind and is stunned by what happened, “It’s awful. He was a really good man. He was a great gardener, always had one in every year. I would waive to him as I drove by. It’s a shame that he passed away.”
“Anytime someone dies in a fire it’s a sad day,” added Allsman.
The state fire marshal has been called in to help find a cause, but the South Roxana fire chief says nothing appears suspicious about the fire.