Updated 05/17/13 – 11:11 a.m.
CHICAGO HEIGHTS, Ill. (CBS) — A couple from Chicago Heights was killed early Friday morning, when a fire severely damaged the home where they lived for more than a decade.
CBS 2’s Susanna Song reports the victims were found inside a home in the 200 block of East 24th Street in Chicago Heights. The house was completely gutted by the fire, which started around 1 a.m. There was heavy fire and smoke when firefighters arrived on the scene.
Initially, there were reports of three children trapped inside the home, but no kids were found inside.
Firefighters found Firefighters found 47-year-old Lillian Hill Harrison and her husband, 43-year-old Lemont Harrison on the second floor in a rear bedroom. They were rushed to nearby Franciscan St. James Hospital, where they were pronounced dead.
Lemont was an amputee, and depended on a wheelchair to get around.
Lillian’s mother, Evelena Hill Cowan, said she last saw her daughter on Mother’s Day.
“I’m just saying my prayers, asking Go to help me accept the things that I can’t change,” she said. “That was my bread, anytime day or night I would call her, “Baby,” she would come.”
The couple’s children held each other outside the home after learning of their parents’ deaths, too distraught to talk about the fire.
Chicago Heights Fire Chief James Angell said it did not appear there were any functioning smoke detectors in the home.
The Illinois State Fire Marshal was investigating the cause of the blaze. A preliminary investigation indicated the fire was not electrical in nature, nor was it the result of arson.