Crime

Body found ‘burned beyond recognition’ in late night Washington Park house fire

FEMA fire prevention and safety awareness

FEMA Regional Administrator, Andrew Velasquez and Fire Commissioner for the city of Chicago, Jose Santiago discuss fire prevention and safety.
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FEMA Regional Administrator, Andrew Velasquez and Fire Commissioner for the city of Chicago, Jose Santiago discuss fire prevention and safety.

Firefighters found a body that was burned beyond recognition late Monday night while they were putting out a fire in a small house on North 48th Street in Washington Park.

Washington Park Fire Chief Sharon Davis said a call reporting the fire in a small abandon house on North 48th Street came in at 11:54 p.m. Monday. She said the fire was put within 30 minutes.

Because there is a police investigation underway, Davis deferred all questions to the police department.

Washington Park Police Chief Allen Bonds said police are not sure whether foul play was involved or not. Police could not speculate on the body’s sex or age.

“It’s under investigation. All we know at this time is a body was found by firefighters while they were putting out a fire. It was burned beyond recognition. We don’t know whether it’s a male or female,” Bonds said.

Illinois State Police are handling the investigation, Bonds said. ISP crime scene technicians processed the scene and an individual from St Clair County Coroner’s office responded.

Police said they are in the very early stages of their investigation.

Carolyn P. Smith has worked for the Belleville News-Democrat for 18 years and currently covers breaking news in the Metro-East. She graduated from the Journalism School at the University of Missouri at Columbia and says news is in her DNA.


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