3 killed, 1 injured in River Grove house fire

Chicago News

RIVER GROVE, Ill. — Three people were killed in a house fire in River Grove Wednesday morning, according to fire officials.

The Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office has identified all three victims:

  • John Owrey, 61,
  • Marilyn Owrey Hennig, 91
  • Michelle Owrey, 24

Officials confirmed all three of the deceased individuals were adults and members of the same family.

The injured victim is a 56-year-old man who has been stabilized at Loyola Medical Center with smoke inhalation.

The fire occurred in the 2300 block of Grove just after 7:30 a.m., officials confirmed. When firefighters arrived, the garage of the house was fully engulfed in flames, with the blaze spreading to the back of the house.

Neighbors say another family member was outside screaming for help.

“And he said his family was in the house still,” Mike DeFrancesca told WGN News. So he tried to help the family member look for a way to enter the burning home.

“Trying to see if there was anything we could do or yell for some people or maybe go in the front,” DeFrancesca said. “It wasn’t on fire yet, so so we tried to go in the front and get some help.”

The fire spread quickly, however.

“Within a matter of a minute or two, the whole house has caught already,” DeFrancesca said. “By the time the cops and firetruck got here, the back of the house was already up in flames.”

The three related victims were found inside the home once the fire was under control. However, firefighting efforts were significantly hampered by high winds across the Chicago area Wednesday morning.

“This type of weather certainly hinders anything we do frozen hydrants and certainly wind conditions as well,” River Grove Fire Chief Sean Flynn said.

Crews from several agencies across Cook County responded to the blaze, instructing neighbors to depart their homes if winds caused the fire to spread.

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“They were screaming for all of us to get out, especially the one next door to the fire,” neighbor Ann Ford said. “The fire department came and made us all evacuate.”

The cause of the fire is unknown and is under investigation by the state Fire Marshall.

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