Onlookers watch firefighters handle a house fire Wednesday, June 12, 2019, at 1313 Baugh Drive, Normal.

NORMAL — Investigators still are trying to determine the cause of a fire that claimed the life of a 76-year-old Normal woman Wednesday.

McLean County Coroner Kathy Yoder said Judith Dawson was pronounced dead at 3:59 p.m. Wednesday in the emergency room at Advocate BroMenn Medical Center in Normal. She was transported from her residence at 1313 Baugh Drive by the Normal Fire Department after smoke was seen coming from her home about 30 minutes earlier.

"Preliminary autopsy opinion indicates that she died from carbon monoxide intoxication due to inhalation of smoke and soot due to a house fire," Yoder said in a statement released Thursday morning. "There was no evidence of non-fire-related injury."

Yoder said Dawson was the sole occupant of the home.

Investigators spent Thursday at the scene.

“There is a lot of debris to sort through and we don’t yet have a cause,” said Normal Fire Department spokesman Matt Swaney.

The fire was reported about 3:30 p.m. by a neighbor and a passer-by who saw smoke pouring out of the one-story brick home. Arriving firefighters found flames coming from a window at the back of the house, Swaney said.

Firefighters had the fire under control in under 10 minutes. Heavy smoke, heat and water damaged much of the house, and several windows were broken during the ventilation process, Swaney said.

The Bloomington Fire Department was called to assist. Ameren Illinois was on scene to turn off the power and utilities.

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Contact Kevin Barlow at (309) 820-3238. Follow him on Twitter: @pg_barlow


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