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Fire claims the life of elderly Sandoval woman 

Fire claims the life of elderly Sandoval woman 

Fire heavily damaged the front of a Sandoval house where the 88-year-old resident was rescued by firefighters, but later died from apparent smoke inhalation.   Photo by Tim Ferguson.

An early Saturday morning fire has claimed the life of a Sandoval woman.

Marion County Coroner Troy Cannon identifies the victim as 88-year-old Clare Busscher.

Sandoval Fire Chief Chad Parson say they used air packs to enter the home in the 700 block of North Pine to rescue the woman from her bedroom in the southwest corner of her home.   CPR was provided at the scene, by Life Star Ambulance on the way to SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital, and then at the hospital before she was pronounced dead by the emergency room doctor.

Busscher lived alone and was the only occupant.

Parson says flames were showing from the front porch and living room upon their arrival.  There was heavy smoke throughout the home as they made their way to the bedroom.   The fire burned a hole in the roof above the living room and spread into the attic.

Centralia Police Dispatch first received a Life Alert call at 4:48 Saturday morning.   It was upgraded to a fire call when a neighbor reported seeing flames at 4:56 am.

The Illinois State Fire Marshal’s office was called to investigate the cause of the fire, but Parson says it was likely electrical and not suspicious in nature.

Coroner Troy Cannon is scheduling an autopsy for Monday to determine whether Mrs. Busscher died from injuries or smoke inhalation in the fire, or from a medical condition unassociated with the fire.

Odin, Centralia City, Centralia District, and Patoka Firemen were all called to the scene for mutual aid, while Huey-Boulder-Ferrin Firemen stood by at the Sandoval station in the event of another fire.

Photo gallery by Tim Ferguson: