UPDATE: Neighbors react to the death of six family members killed in rural Dixon fire

Updated: Tuesday, Nov. 21, 9:30 p.m.

DIXON, Ill. (WIFR) -- Dixon Public Schools respond to the death of the Shaw family.

In a statement to the community and news media, the district says, "It is with tremendous sadness that we inform you of the death of four of our Dixon Public School students and their parents. Timothy and Melissa Shaw and their four children, Ethen, LeAnne, Hailey, and Dylan tragically lost their lives in a fire in their home. Today’s loss impacts the school and our community as a whole. This is an unimaginable loss, and we extend our deepest sympathies to the family and friends affected by this tragedy.

"Words cannot adequately express the sadness and grief in the hearts of our entire community. The Shaw Family and all who knew and loved them will remain in our thoughts and prayers.”


RURAL DIXON, Ill. (WIFR) -- People in Rural Dixon say their community is close and the loss of six family members is horrific. Many neighbors now must pick up the pieces and cope with the tragedy.

"There's just no way to explain it, it's just a tragic loss and we don't understand why,” said neighbor Ron Hinterlong.

Ron Hinterlong says he woke up this morning to the sound of an explosion.

"I knew something was seriously wrong,” said Hinterlong.

He drove up the street where he saw several of his neighbors surrounding a house.

“When I first came upon it the whole house was in total flames,” said Hinterlong.

Hinterlong says he then learned the family of six was home during the fire and couldn't get out.

"I broke down in tears”

The Ogle County Sheriff's Department says the 911 call came from someone inside the basement of the home. When fire crews got to the scene they said they couldn’t go inside because the home was fully engulfed, leaving the family trapped.

"I wasn't even able to run in and try to save anybody at all because the flames were too big,” said Hinterlong.

Two adults and their four children lived inside the home. Neighbors say their community has lost a very hard-working, loving family.

"Our neighborhood is really, really close. Lost Nation is really close. We're a tight-fit family We watch everybody's back, we watch everybody's houses. There's nothing that we don’t do for each other,” said neighbor Shawn Parish.

Where there once was home is now rubble, but neighbors say they will miss the family and never forget the kind people they were.

"Prayers go out to the family,” said Hinterlong.
The cause of the fire is under investigation but the Ogle County Sheriff's Department does not believe it is suspicious.