Rural Meredosia Fire Claims Life of Home Owner

By Jeremy Coumbes on November 25, 2022 at 3:54pm

One person has died after fire swept through a house in rural Meredosia Wednesday night.

At approximately 7:25 Wednesday night, West Central Dispatch received reports from an Illinois State Trooper and Pike County Sheriff’s Deputy who both said visible flames and smoke could be seen from a nearby highway near Meredosia.

Jacksonville/Morgan County Office of Emergency Management Director Phil McCarty says multiple fire departments responded to the blaze at 523 Spunky Ridge Road in rural Meredosia and found the structure completely involved with fire.

Morgan County Coroner Marcy Patterson confirmed Friday that 80-year-old Herbert Smith died as a result of the fire. Smith was the property owner and Patterson says an autopsy into the cause of his death has been scheduled.

McCarty says the structure was completely destroyed by the fire, and the incident is now under investigation by the Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshal.

No injuries were reported in the incident, however, a Meredosia Rescue Squad ambulance sustained significant damage after it had been parked too close to the home. The ambulance had to be towed from the scene.

Fire Departments from Meredosia, Arenzville, Chapin, and North Scott all responded to the scene, as well as the Meredosia Rescue Squad and Morgan County Sheriff’s Office.

McCarty says crews cleared the scene just before midnight and were called back a number of times due to flare-ups from continued smoldering. A cause of the blaze remains under investigation.

A request for information into the incident from the Meredosia Fire Department has not been returned as of press time.