Fire on Sangamon Claims Life of 9-Year-Old Boy

The memorial to "A.J." at the site of a house fire on Sangamon Street.
The memorial to “A.J.” at the site of a house fire on Sangamon Street. (Photo: Gary Kopycinski)

Park Forest, IL-(ENEWSPF)- A nine-year-old boy lost his life following a fire on Sangamon Street Friday morning, the Park Forest Fire Department said in a statement.

The house in the 300 block of Sangamon was boarded up Friday afternoon. A memorial of two posters, flowers, stuffed animals, and “WE LOVE YOU!” was in place in the front yard of the property near the street. The memorial included pens and markers that passers-by could use to leave a message for the family, mourning the loss of “A.J.”, according to a friend of the family who had stopped by.

The fire was ruled accidental, according to a statement issued by the Park Forest Fire Department.

House boarded up after fire on Sangamon Street
The house on Sangamon Street was boarded up Friday afternoon following the morning fire. (Photo: Gary Kopycinski)

The PFFD was dispatched to the home at 307 Sangamon Street for a “working structure fire,” according to the statement, on Friday, June 5, 2020, at 6:25 AM.

The fire department arrived on the scene to find the small, one-story single-family dwelling with heavy fire showing from three sides, according to the statement. Crews were met by a 36-year-old woman with a three-year-old girl. The two had escaped the flames and made it to the front yard.

The woman told firefighters that a nine-year-old boy was still inside the home.

Memorial for nine-year-old fire victim
A memorial for the nine-year-old boy who lost his life from a fire on Sangamon Street Friday. (Photo: Gary Kopycinski)

“Park Forest Engine 56 made an aggressive interior attack followed immediately by a search crew,” the statement said. “The search crew quickly found the nine-year-old victim and removed the patient to a waiting ambulance.” Paramedics immediately started advance life support procedures and transported the child to Olympia Fields Hospital.

“Unfortunately, despite the best efforts of medical personnel, the patient did not survive his injuries,” the Fire Department said in the statement.

The fire was controlled in approximately 15 minutes.

An inspector surveys the damage to the house on Sangamon Street.
An inspector surveys the damage to the house on Sangamon Street. (Photo: PFFD)

An investigation of the fire by the Park Forest Police Department, the Illinois State Fire Marshalls Office, and the MABAS 27 Fire Investigation Team ruled the cause of the fire accidental.