A 68-year-old woman is dead after a fire that damaged several condominium units early Sunday in the 1500 block of Hunt Drive in Normal.
The fire was reported around midnight at 1538 Hunt Drive, a four-unit, two-story condo building just north of Kroger on College Avenue. Firefighters found the unresponsive woman in a kitchen, and she could not be resuscitated, authorities said.
An autopsy is scheduled for later Sunday. Her name is being withheld pending notification of her family.
Neighbor Nancy Vandever, who lives across a backyard from where the fire took place, stood outside the building Sunday morning surveying the damage.
“I just came out (before midnight) and there were just flames all over the building,” she said. “It’s like one day it can be nice, one day it can be a tragedy. It’s unreal. It’s really sad.”
The building’s roof structure collapsed soon after the 68-year-old woman was pulled out. The fire took more than an hour to get under control. Normal Fire Department called in all its off-duty personnel, plus Rapid Intervention Team assistance from the Bloomington Fire Department.
Officials say the fire apparently started in the building’s Unit C, where the woman was found. Adjacent units were also damaged.
“The entire building was deemed unsafe for anyone to remain following the fire, and residents were staying with relatives for the night,” authorities said in a statement.
Firefighters rescued a dog and a cat from the building. Both were given oxygen at the scene and are expected to survive.
A full damage estimate is not yet available. Insurance adjusters will be working at the scene later Sunday once the fire investigation is complete.
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