House fire that killed elderly couple started in two locations: source

SHARE House fire that killed elderly couple started in two locations: source
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Workers board up a two-flat in the 4000 block of West Wilcox after a man and woman, both 90 years old, were found dead after a fire early Tuesday. | Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

A fire that took the lives of an elderly couple in their West Garfield Park two-flat earlier this week appears to have started in two different locations on the property, a source told the Chicago Sun-Times Wednesday.

Lewis and Aldonia White, both 90, died when the fire swept through the home they’d shared for decades in the 4000 block of West Wilcox.

On Tuesday, fire officials hinted the fire might not have been accidental. Chicago Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford said that was based on “the evidence that was found,” without elaborating. Another fire official said it was “unusual” that Aldonia White was found slumped in a chair, rather than attempting to flee.

Langford went further Wednesday: “The Office of Fire Investigation has determined that this fire is not consistent with a single-point origin accidental fire.”

The couple’s caregiver and a family member told the Chicago Sun-Times Tuesday that they had no reason to suspect the Whites might have been in any danger.

The Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office did not immediately rule on the cause and manner of their deaths Wednesday pending further investigation.

Fire officials have said there were no working smoke alarms in the building at the time of the blaze.

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