Illinois police chief confirms firefighter died while battling blaze

  • Source: WSIL-TV 3
  • Published: 05/06/2019 12:00 AM

Officials confirm a firefighter died while fighting a fire early Sunday morning in Christopher. Seventeen fire departments and six police departments assisted in battling the two-story structure fire. The Christopher Police Department said a call came in around 3:30 a.m. reporting a fire at 118 West Market Street. Christopher Fire Chief Ron Learned said a call for Mayday came an hour after the fire started for someone down inside the fire scene. "I don't know how many guys sprang to the attack," Learned said. "We were able to bring one of those people out and then the other we did not recover until later." Several local firefighters, including Southern Illinois Fire Incidents are posting on social media "Rest in Peace Kody Vanfossan." Christopher's Police Chief confirmed Vanfossan's dad was also inside the building fighting the fire. Vanfossan is the grandson of Christopher Mayor Gary Bartolotti. A final call for the fallen firefighter could be heard across the area Sunday night to all fire and police departments.


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