Saturday, December 26, 2009

Evanston fire: Hoarding is blamed in fire death

An 82-year-old man died in an Evanston house fire Tuesday morning surrounded by stacks of old magazines, newspapers, household goods and other hoarded items, officials said.

Evanston fire investigators say the cause of the blaze was accidental and may have been electrical. It began in the utility room next to the kitchen on the west side of the home in the 2100 block of Cleveland Street, officials said.

Authorities said the man killed in the blaze lived alone, and he may have been trapped in the one-story ranch-style home by a clutter of items.

"It was a hoarding situation," said Division Chief Tom Janetske. "There were some things dated from many years ago. There was a lot of debris around the house making it difficult to walk."..." More