99-year-old woman dies in house fire in Franklin County, Illinois


Reporter - Kendall Downing
Web Editor - Ryan Burkett
Web Editor - Mason Stevenson

FRANKLIN COUNTY, Ill. - She died in the same house she was born in. A fire destroyed 99-year-old Dorothy Marie Linn's Franklin County home Wednesday morning.

First responders arrived around 9 a.m. and pulled her outside. She was unconscious, and they tried CPR. But Linn later died at Franklin Hospital in Benton, Illinois. The cause of death was smoke inhalation, according to the county coroner.

Linn would've turned 100 this year. She was a lifelong member of North Benton Baptist Church.

A normal prayer meeting at North Benton Baptist was a bit somber Wednesday afternoon.

"Very sweet woman, good Christian woman," said one church member.

Hearts are heavy sharing memories about 99-year-old Marie Linn.

"I'd call her and say you want me to come out, and she'd say yeah come on out," said another member.

Linn lived alone at her home at 11566 Linn Road.

Wednesday morning a neighbor spotted the smoke and called it in. The response took half a dozen fire departments.

"There was heavy smoke and high heat intensity," said Gary Kasper, Benton Fire Chief.

Kasper said firefighters found Linn on the kitchen floor. Within a minute of getting her out, the whole place went up and crews had to move outside.

Kasper believes they'll never know what sparked the flames.

"Because of the amount of damage to the house and the collapse of the structure, it's going to be almost impossible to determine a cause," he said.

That uncertainty is why church members bowed their heads Wednesday, hoping a higher power can provide comfort for a grieving family.

The Illinois state fire marshal is investigating a cause.

Services for Linn are pending at Morton & Johnston Funeral Home in Benton, Illinois.

Earlier Story:

FRANKLIN COUNTY, Ill. - A morning house fire claimed the life of an Illinois woman Wednesday.

Franklin County Coroner Marty Leffler says 99-year-old Dorothy Marie Linn died of asphyxiation due to smoke inhalation.

Just before 9 a.m. Wednesday, firefighters arrived at Linn's Linn Road home.  They made their way inside and found Linn unresponsive near a door.  They immediately began CPR and continued until an ambulance arrived.

The ambulance rushed Linn to the Franklin Hospital.  Doctors tried to revive Linn, but were unable to get a vital sign.

Funeral arrangements are pending with Morton & Johnston Funeral Home of Benton.

The fire investigation at Linn's home continues.

Earlier story:

FRANKLIN COUNTY, Ill. - An elderly woman is dead after fire engulfed her home in Franklin County, Illinois.

Benton Fire Chief Gary Kasper says Dorothy Marie Linn was inside her home at 11566 Linn Road when it caught fire. The home soon became fully engulfed.

Linn was pulled from the kitchen area of the home and was pronounced dead at Franklin Hospital in Benton.