ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (STMW) — A fire that killed three women in northwest suburban Arlington Heights early Wednesday started in the home’s kitchen, and investigators do not believe it was arson.
The victims were identified as Doris Miller, 93; Tetiana Krych, 62; and Svitlana Kandelis, 40, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office.
All three were dead at the scene in the 300 block of South Dunton Avenue. Miller and Krych lived in the home on Dunton, while Kandelis lived in Wheeling.
Miller was the owner of the home and was non-ambulatory, police said. Krych was Miller’s live-in caregiver, and her daughter, Kandelis, was spending the night at the home.
The medical examiner’s office determined that all three women died of thermal injuries and inhalation of combustible materials, and their deaths were ruled accidental, police said.
Police said Thursday the fire originated in the kitchen, but the exact cause remains under investigation. No foul play is suspected.
A smoke detector without a battery was found at the scene, police said.
About 3:15 a.m., a police sergeant smelled smoke and called in other officers, tracking the source to the bungalow in the 300 block of South Dunton.
Firefighters arrived and found one of the victims in a downstairs bedroom, Cmdr. Mike Hernandez said in a statement. Two more victims were found other areas of the house, police said.
“They were just very quiet. You never saw cars — nothing,” said 66-year-old Cheryl Weinrich, who lives down the street from the fire in her childhood home. “We all feel bad because you should at least know your neighbors.”
Weinrich said her one interaction with the two women who lived at the home occurred on Halloween. She was trick-or-treating with her daughter and grandkids.
“A very sweet woman came to the door and invited them in,” she said, adding that the overture caught her family by surprise.
As it turned out, the woman just wanted her wheelchair-bound housemate to see the trick-or-treaters.
“She was just a short, sweet looking grandma,” Weinrich said.
(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2013. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)