Woman killed in west suburban house fire, cause under investigation

BROOKFIELD, Ill. — A woman is dead after a home in west suburban Brookfield caught fire Sunday morning.

Neighbors say a woman in her 60s lived in the home on the 4300 block of Arthur Avenue, which caught fire sometime Sunday morning.

Bill Harris says he was on his way back from running an errand around 6:20 a.m. when he saw the smoke, and then intense flames, at the home. He says he's never seen anything like it.

"The whole house by the time I parked the car was totally engulfed from front to back," Harris said. "You heard the crackling of the plywood it was that hot."

It took firefighters nearly four hours to knock out the blaze. Witnesses say firefighters rescued a dog from the house, but it later died at an animal hospital. Neighbor Erin Fox is still searching for the woman's missing cat.

"She was always out in her garden pulling weeds or planting flowers; she was quiet but friendly," Fox said.

Investigators are working to determine a cause of the fire, as well as to determine what may have killed the woman inside her home.

"It's a somber moment, it's a loss of someone's life," Harris said.