Two dead in Minooka house fire

Minooka police and Channahon fire units were dispatched for an active fire alarm at a home on Bell Road in Minooka on Friday, Feb. 14, at 12:44 a.m., with reports of people possibly trapped inside.

Upon arrival, fire crews reported heavy fire showing in a one-story ranch style home. Occupants who had escaped prior to the arrival of fire crews confirmed that two people were trapped inside the residence.

Firefighters from Channahon and Minooka fire protection districts initiated fire attack and executed rescues of a woman and a boy. The woman was transported to Morris Hospital, where she was pronounced deceased. The boy was pronounced deceased at the scene.

The fire was deemed under control just after 2 a.m. Fire crews remained on the scene, at 24515 S. Bell Road, which is in the Channahon Fire Protection District's boundaries, until about 8:20 a.m., working to access hidden fire and ensure the blaze is extinguished.

The Office of the State Fire Marshal Fire and Arson Division, along with Mutual Aid Box Alarm System (MABAS) Division 15 fire investigators were called to the scene to conduct the fire investigation. Minooka Police Department is currently assisting the state fire marshal's office with the investigation. The cause of the fire is currently under investigation. No preliminary determination of the cause will be released at this time.

Grundy and Will County coroners are managing the death investigations. Will County deputy coroner Rachel O'Neill has confirmed the identity of the boy as Waveland Fitch, age 5. Grundy County Coroner John Callahan has confirmed the identy of the woman, 57-year-old Susan Weber. Autopsies will be conducted to determine the cause of death.

Fire companies from Minooka, Troy, Wilmington, Elwood, Plainfield, Morris, Coal City, Braidwood, New Lenox, Homer Township and Joliet provided assistance at the scene. Fire agencies from Romeoville, Gardner, Northwest Homer and Manhattan provided area coverage during the fire response. Minooka, Channahon, Will County and Grundy County police provided traffic control and site security.

"On behalf of all fire and emergency responders who worked at the scene of this tragic event, we offer our prayers to the family impacted. Our hearts are heavy and [the family] remains in the forefronts of our minds in the days to come," concluded a joint statement issued Channahon Fire Chief John Petrakis and Minooka Police Chief Justin Meyer.