Fire Takes One Woman's Life

By: Laura Gibbs
By: Laura Gibbs

The Rockford Fire Department got the call a little before 8:30 a.m. Sunday morning. A neighbor saw smoke coming from a house on Redbluff Drive and called for help.

Although crews responded quickly to the scene fire officials say it may have been too late to save 87-year-old Doris Kopchell and her cat who was asleep in her back bedroom.

District Fire Chief Jerry Wiltfang says by the time they had arrived the fire had been burning for awhile so the heavy carbon monoxide fumes played a part in Doris’s death.

Fire officials say Doris might not have even known about the blaze since she did not have a working fire alarm or monitoring device. Doris has two sons who live out of town.

In Rockford, her niece says on her list of to do's was to visit Doris. On Sunday she says she wishes she wouldn’t have waited.

The investigation continues and autopsy results are preliminary. The fire investigation though is not being treated as suspicious.


23 WIFR 2523 North Meridian Road Rockford, IL. 61101 Business: 815-987-5300 Fax: 815-965-0981 News: 815-987-5330 Fax: 815-987-5333
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