Coroner: Victim in Union Co., IL house fire died of smoke inhala - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Coroner: Victim in Union Co., IL house fire died of smoke inhalation

(Source: Rob Foote/KFVS) (Source: Rob Foote/KFVS)
(Source: Rob Foote/KFVS) (Source: Rob Foote/KFVS)

Authorities say the woman killed in a home fire on Tuesday, August 2 in Union County, Illinois died as a result of smoke inhalation.

Lou Etta Rion, 87, of Lick Creek, died after a home caught fire early on Tuesday morning. Authorities believe Rion was the homeowner.

According to Union County Coroner Phil Hileman, the preliminary cause of death was determined to be smoke inhalation. He also said nothing jumped out at investigators as 'odd' in the autopsy, and it appears to be an accidental death.

The fire marshal's investigation is ongoing.

The call went out to fire crews at 2:46 a.m. Tuesday morning. A neighbor saw a glow from the house and called 911.

Firefighters say the neighbor said an elderly woman lived in the home, but they were unsure if she was home.

According to Harvel, the Anna Fire Department, along with Cobden Fire Department and the Dongola Fire Department, responded to a structure fire at 9960 Lick Creek Road.

When crews got on scene, the home was engulfed in flames.

At about 7 a.m., the fire was under control and the investigators began searching what was left of the home.

At approximately 10:10 a.m., authorities and fire crews recovered a body and by 11 a.m. the body was removed from the scene and taken by the Union County coroner.

Firefighters cleared the scene at about 12:30 p.m.

There is no word yet on what caused the fire and the house is considered a complete loss.

Funeral services have been finalized for Lou Etta Rion. Services will be held Saturday, Aug. 6 at Rendleman-Hileman Funeral home in Anna, Ill. Visitation will be at noon, followed by the funeral at 2 p.m. 

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