Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Fire Kills Family in Illinois for Town, 5 Deaths Are `Pretty Tragic'

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Fire Kills Family in Illinois for Town, 5 Deaths Are `Pretty Tragic'

Article excerpt

The father was an electrician. The mother liked to volunteer at the local school. One of their three children was a year away from reaching the rank of Eagle Scout.

All five members of the Wallace family died in a weekend fire that was intense enough to char the bark of a tree 15 feet from the front door.

With the property lined by yellow police tape Monday, the scene on North Street was miserable.

The west end of the small ranch-style house was virtually destroyed. Two small flower arrangements were placed on the lawn; one included a teddy bear.

"For a small community, five deaths in one fire is pretty tragic," said Richard McFadden, fire chief in this village of 845 northeast of Champaign. "I've got several firefighters who are pretty distressed about it."

"They were a nice, quiet, average family - three beautiful kids," said Earl Smith, a school custodian.

The victims were Carl W. Wallace, 37, his wife Janice, 31, and their children: Carl Dean, 12; Carlita, 4; and Stephanie, 7 months. …

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