CHICAGO (CBS) — A well-known couple’s home went up in flames in the West Pullman community early Sunday – leaving the husband dead and his wife hanging on to life.
The fire started around 4 a.m. at a home near 127th Street and Parnell Avenue. As CBS 2’s Steven Graves reported, many people stopped by the house in shock during the day.
Police and fire officials said the man was taken to Little Company of Mary Hospital in Evergreen Park, where he was pronounced dead. He was identified by family members as Heural Glover, 72.
His 65-year-old wife also was taken to Little Company of Mary, and later transferred to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn in critical condition.
Droplets of water hung frozen in the frigid air as the ashes settled. Only charred memories remained late Sunday.
Neighbors stopped by in disbelief. Fred West was good friends with Glover and knew that his friend lived in the house that burned down. He braced for what news crews had to tell him.
“I’m shocked. I’m shocked. I’m shocked,” West said.
When the fire was raging, firefighters battled flames and heavy smoke at the two-story home. Neighbors eventually saw a stretcher carry out Glover’s body.
Family members were devastated Sunday night. They said the couple had lived in the house for decades.
The Fire Department said there was no working smoke detector inside, and the fire might have been an electrical issue.
Investigators believe a couch in the house caught fire first, and the flames spread.
On Sunday, the family spent time removing belongings. Glover’s favorite seat – an office chair – stayed in its same spot outside, and his vintage blue Thunderbird remained intact.
“I sure wanted to buy his Thunderbird, but he never wanted to let go of that Thunderbird,” West said.
West said many people knew Glover in the West Pullman neighborhood. Their friendship would form at the barbershop.
“The man loved to come in and just conversation – just conversation,” West said. “That’s basically what I got from him.”
West said Glover’s presence will be missed, as will his dedication to decorations.
“I’m going to miss him putting up the ornaments – the Christmas ornaments,” West said. “He really, really believed in bringing the spirit of Christmas to this area; to this neighborhood.”
Glover leaves behind family and friends, but also a strong legacy.
The Fire Department will be canvassing in the neighborhood on Monday morning to remind people that smoke detectors save lives.
Chicago Fire Department
Post Fire Death Canvass:
Location: 458 W. 127th Street
Please come out and help us spread the word that Smoke dectors safe Lives.
— Chicago Fire Media (@CFDMedia) December 15, 2019