Updated, 6:00 p.m.
One of the victims of a house fire in Oak Forest Tuesday sustained injuries “not related” to the blaze, Sun-Times Media reports.
A 40-year-old woman is dead and her 48-year-old husband remains hospitalized after a fire in their home near 153rd and Central Avenue Tuesday morning.
Neighbors reported smoke pouring out of the home's windows this morning around 9 a.m. Firefighters arriving on the scene at 15230 S. Central Ave. found a man unresponsive on the front porch, according to police.
Erica Rodriguez was found dead inside the home, according to Oak Forest Police Chief Greg Anderson. An autopsy is scheduled for Wednesday.
Her husband Martin Rodriguez was transported to South Suburban Hospital, and later transferred to Advocate Christ Medical Center.
Oak Forest Fire Chief Terry Lipinski told Sun-Times reporters that one of the victims sustained injuries not related to the fire, but would not elaborate on which victim, or the injuries.
Neighbor Lydia Ponzcak witnessed both victims being removed from the fire. Martin Rodriguez was bloodied in the chest area, she observed.
"It looked to me like he had streaks of blood on his chest," she said.
His wife was carried out of the home covered up to the chest, and her face appeared "badly, badly burned."
Ponczak called the couple "absolutely great neighbors," who were very friendly and would wave.
"They were very nice people, as far as we could tell," she said. "We never heard any arguments coming from there or any noise. Kids were well-behaved, never trouble in the neighborhood. They lived there about 8 years."
Officers are treating the scene as a crime scene, Anderson said, adding that it is standard operating procedure. The Illinois State Fire Marshal and South Suburban Major Crimes Task Force are investigating.
The couple's three children—a daughter aged 17, son aged 15, and daughter aged 6—were in school at the time of the fire.
"I can't imagine leaving your home to go to school and when you come home, there's no home, no family there," Ponczak said. "One of your parents is dead and the other one is clinging to life."
Patch will update as more details become available.
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