Coroner identifies woman killed in Bloomington house fire, firefighters give fire safety tips

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BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (WMBD) — A woman and two cats were killed in a house fire Thursday night.

According to the Bloomington Fire Department, crews responded around 8:45 p.m. to Kreitzer Avenue near East Oakland Avenue for a reported structure fire.

When crews got to the scene, they found flames showing from a two story home. During an interior attack, a woman was found in the home unconscious.

She was carried out of the home and despite life-saving efforts by paramedics, she was pronounced dead.

McLean County Coroner Dr. Kathy Yoder has identified the victim as 45-year-old Michelle R. Hanson. Preliminary autopsy indicates that Hanson died from carbon monoxide intoxication due to inhalation of smoke and soot from the fire.

Two cats also died as a result of the fire.

Bloomington Fire Department Public Information Officer Eric Davison said on scene, firefighters found the woman in her bedroom with the doors open.

“In this home, we didn’t see a lot of smoke alarms and the doors were wide open, not that it’s uncommon, but it’s a real simple fix to do and help prevent this from happening,” Davison said.

Davison said testing smoke detectors and closing doors at night can help prevent tragedies like this one from occurring.

“Keeping doors closed at night is really important because that can stop a lot of smoke in the area from a fire, also having working smoke alarms,” Davison said. “Without smoke alarms a lot of times this is sadly the outcome.”

He reminded people of some fire safety tips as the holidays approach and throughout the whole year.

“When you’re a kid, we tell you crawl to the door and feel with the back of your hand; well that only works if the door is closed, that can keep back heat, so even a simple hollow core door can keep back smoke for an hour which is plenty of time for us to respond and help with the rescue,” Davison said.

While the cause of the fire remains under investigation, it is believed to be accidental at this time.

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