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Fatal fires: Two Sycamore men dead from two separate residential fires Friday, Saturday

SYCAMORE – Two Sycamore men are dead following two separate residential fires Friday and Saturday nights, confirmed Sycamore Police Chief Pete Polarek. One was found dead on the scene while the other succumbed to his injuries at a Rockford hospital.

West Exchange Street fire

A Sycamore man in his 60s died during a late Saturday night fire at a duplex in the 300 block of West Exchange Street, confirmed DeKalb County Coroner Dennis Miller Sunday.

The man’s official cause of death is not yet known at this time, as Miller said an autopsy is set to be performed Monday.

Sycamore Fire Chief Pete Polarek said Sunday the cause of the fire remains under investigation though it appears to be accidental. The man was declared dead when firefighters entered the lower rear unit.

“When we got there, we saw from the exterior heavy smoke and flames coming from the rear bedroom,” Polarek said.

The man has not yet been identified, pending notification of family or next of kin, Miller said.

Around 9:20 p.m. Saturday, Sycamore firefighters responded to reports of a structure fire with a possible trapped person inside the lower unit of a two-story duplex in the 300 block of West Exchange Street.

Firefighters located the fire coming from the bedroom in the downstairs unit, and extinguished it in about 10 minutes. The units were then ventilated for smoke, and crews remained on the scene for about two hours after, according to a news release from the Sycamore Fire Department.

The first-floor unit where the fire was suffered damage from flames, heat and smoke, while the upper unit suffered some secondary smoke damage. Total damage to the duplex is estimated at about $200,000, authorities said, and the occupants of the second-floor unit were temporarily displaced.

“Most of the damage was confined to the lower unit,” Polarek said. “The upstairs, they just temporarily relocated for the night. My guess is they’re going to be able to rehab the upstairs.”

Crews from DeKalb, Genoa-Kingston, Cortland, Elburn and Pingree Grove assisted, as did authorities from the Sycamore Police Department, the State Fire Marshal, ComEd and Nicor.

No firefighters were injured, Polarek said.

Arvle Circle fire

A Sycamore man died in a Friday night fire which gutted a second story apartment in a four-unit townhome complex in the 400 block of Arvle Circle Friday night, Feb. 27, 2021.

A Sycamore man died in a Friday night fire which gutted a second story apartment in a four-unit townhome complex in the 400 block of Arvle Circle Friday night, Feb. 27, 2021. (Katie Finlon/DeKalb, Illinois)

Around 9:45 p.m. Friday, Sycamore firefighters responded to a four-unit townhome complex in the 900 block of Arvle Circle, where upon arrival, they discovered heavy smoke and flames coming from a second story unit.

After crews got to the fire, and began utilizing a hose line inside the unit, they encountered an injured man, who lived in the second story unit, in the stairwell. The man had suffered significant burns from the fire, according to a news release.

Sycamore police and firefighters rescued the man and treated him for injuries outside, and then transported him to Northwestern Medicine Kishwaukee Hospital.

Not too long after, he was airlifted to OSF St. Anthony Burn Center in Rockford, and Polarek said Sunday the man succumbed to his injuries Saturday.

Identification for the man is also pending notification of next of kin.

Along with Sycamore, crews from DeKalb, Elburn, Cortland, Genoa-Kingston, Malta and Pingree Grove continued fighting the fire inside and outside the structure until it was extinguished and ventilated for smoke.

The second-story unit in the townhome complex suffered significant heat, flame and smoke damage, according to the release, which also impacted the secondary unit.

Total damage to the townhome complex is estimated at $300,000, with $75,000 for contents inside the units.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Polarek said a weekend like this one two lives lost in two separate fires impacts the community as a whole.

“These are always difficult,” Polarek said. “This affects everybody differently, so you try to walk carefully through this but there’s also a need for people to know.”

Source: The Daily Chronicle

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