St. Elmo Man Dies In House Fire


A St. Elmo man lost his life in a house fire Friday morning.

St. Elmo firefighters responded to the call at 8:40 AM Friday, according to WXEF FM in Effingham. The home is located in the 100 block of South Elm in St. Elmo. The blaze was under control within 40 minutes of fire personnel arriving.

Friday afternoon, Fayette County Coroner Dave Harris identified the man killed in the fire as 77-year-old Ralph K. Janes. Coroner Harris said no further information is being released at this time and an autopsy is scheduled for Saturday.

St. Elmo Fire Chief Doug Engeljohn told WXEF the fire began “in the living room floor” of the single-story structure. Damage was reported to the floor and the floor joists, and smoke throughout the structure. The structure is still standing.

Engeljohn reportedly said he and an official from the Illinois State Fire Marshal’s Office are terming the cause of the fire as “undetermined”.

Altamont fire personnel, Illinois State Police Crime Scene Services, the Fayette County Coroner’s Office, the Fayette County Sheriff’s Department, St. Elmo Police, and Rural Med Ambulance assisted on the scene.

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