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NORMAL – A June 12 fire that left a Normal woman dead started in the kitchen, likely near the stove, authorities said Friday.

Judith Dawson, 76, died at Advocate BroMenn Medical Center, Normal, shortly after firefighters pulled her from the burning home at 1313 Baugh Drive. She was retired from State Farm.

The home had no working smoke detectors.

“The loss of a life from a fire is something we don’t take lightly,” said Fire Chief Mick Humer. “You need to check your smoke alarms and make sure they work properly, and if you have elderly neighbors or relatives, check in with them, and help them to make sure their detectors are working, too.”

The origin of the fire was shared Friday by Normal Fire Department investigators, Normal Police Department and the McLean County Coroner’s Office.

Smoke and carbon monoxide alarms should be tested monthly. If they are more than 10 years old, the entire detector should be replaced. At a minimum, there should be at least one smoke alarm on each level of the home, and one inside and outside sleeping rooms. Interconnected smoke alarms provide the best warning, because if one alarm goes off, they all go off. Smoke alarms give you the early warning needed to escape a fire, especially if the fire happens while you are sleeping.

“As always, if you smell smoke, or your alarms are going off, please call the fire department to have us investigate,” said Humer. “We are more than happy to come out to make sure everything is safe.”

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