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Elderly woman found dead after house fire in Lockport Township

Authorities are investigating the death of an 80-year-old woman who was found dead after a house fire Saturday afternoon in southwest suburban Lockport Township.

Carol Kozak was pronounced dead at 10:31 a.m. at her home in the 13000 block of Redberry Circle after the fire burned for a couple of days, according to the Will County coroner’s office and Lockport Township Fire Chief Frank Blaskey.

The coroner’s office said the preliminary cause of death is inhalation of smoke and soot, but the final cause of death is pending police, autopsy and toxicology reports.

Kozak’s neighbors called the Will County sheriff’s office after they hadn’t seen her in a few days, Blaskey said. The sheriff’s office asked the Lockport Township Fire Protection District for help entering her home.

When authorities made it into the garage, they immediately smelled smoke and saw soot damage. Blaskey said the fire appeared to have started in the back bedroom and probably burned for a couple days before burning itself out.

Firefighters found Kozak dead and the interior pane of a window blown out. The fire appeared to be contained, so none of the neighbors noticed the fire, Blaskey said.

The Will County sheriff’s office and Lockport Township Fire Protection District are investigating the cause of the fire, but Blaskey said it did not appear to be suspicious in nature.