A fire that appears to have started in the kitchen of a home at 3645 Arden Ave. in Brookfield on Wednesday evening took the life of a woman along with her four pets, officials have reported.
The woman has been identified by the Cook County Medical Examiner as 59-year-old Carol L. Norton, who lived at the home. In addition, said Fire Chief Patrick Lenzi, two dogs and two cats perished in the blaze.
Brookfield’s emergency dispatch center received a report of a fire at the house, which is across the street from Kiwanis Park, at 5:09 p.m. The first fire units arrived on the scene at 5:13, said Lenzi, who was among the first to arrive.
Lenzi said he immediately saw smoke coming from all along the roofline. Firefighters later determined that the point of origin for the fire was probably the kitchen.
“The fire was rolling along the kitchen ceiling when we first got there,” Lenzi said. “There was a really strong push. It was very pressurized.”
Emergency personnel early on received word that there was probably a victim inside the house. Two Brookfield firefighters entered the house with a hose to strike down the fire and used a thermal-imaging camera to search for the victim. They reportedly found Norton in a hallway about 10 feet from the kitchen.
Norton was unconscious when firefighters removed her from the home. She was immediately taken to Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood. She was pronounced dead at 2:27 a.m. on Thursday, according to the medical examiner.
Lenzi said the small one-story ranch house sustained extensive smoke, heat and water damage in the kitchen and extensive smoke damage throughout. Exactly how the fire started is under investigation, but officials do not believe it’s suspicious.
Other fire departments responding to the fire call included LaGrange, LaGrange Park, McCook, Lyons, Summit, Riverside, Western Springs and Oak Brook.