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House Fire Claims Life of 80-Year-Old Woman

Authorities have identified the victim of the house fire that occurred in the 1000 Block of W. Edwards Street on Thursday. Sangamon County Coroner, Jim Allmon, confirmed the deceased person as Shirley Birkman, an 80-year-old woman from Springfield.

According to Allmon, Ms. Birkman was found deceased in the residence after the structure fire. An autopsy was conducted, and preliminary results suggest that the cause of her death was carbon monoxide intoxication resulting from smoke inhalation. The investigation into the fire and her death is still ongoing by the Sangamon County Coroner and the Springfield Fire Department.

The Springfield Fire Department received a call Thursday night alerting them to the blaze, which was already venting out some side windows by the time they were en route. Another caller reported that an elderly lady lived in the house.

As one of the firetrucks was approaching the scene, a civilian informed them that he had kicked in the front door and pounded on some windows in an attempt to raise anyone inside, but to no avail. The fire was contained in the first-floor kitchen and the back porch areas.

As the flames were brought under control, firefighters discovered a deceased person on the floor of the fire room.


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