The small village of Maunie in White County that sits on the banks of the Wabash River, experienced a great tragedy this past weekend as fire broke out in one of the homes in the town. The ensuing explosion killed one resident who failed to get out of the house in time. Sgt. Craig Poole was called out on Jan. 5 at 4:15 a.m. to respond to 245 Wabash Street in Maunie, Ill. in reference to a report of a house fire at the location. He arrived on the scene with White County Ambulance Service, Carmi Fire Department and Crossville Fire Department and spoke with Fire Chief Larry Hite about the situation.
Hite said two people were present at the location when the fire was discovered. Robert A. Grant, age 62 and Dawn M. Grant, age 38, husband and wife, were the occupants of the house. Dawn told police she had awakened to the smell of smoke in the house. She and her husband Robert were sleeping in the living room. She said she woke up her husband and said they needed to get out. The smoke was heavy and she could not see. She told him to call for help because she could not find her phone. He said he could not find his shoes and could not call out on his cell phone. She said she told him to get out as she went out the front door. She yelled for him, but he never came out of house. She said she went across the street to Deborah Yates’ house for help. Deborah and her husband Dave came out and tried to help her get Robert Grant out of the house, but there was an explosion from within the house and they had to back away from it. She believed the explosion could have been from Robert’s oxygen tank.
Fire Chief Larry Hite confirmed that a body was located within the structure. Illinois State Police Crime Scene technicians were called and the cause of the fire is still under investigation by the Illinois State Fire Marshall’s office.
62 year old Robert Grant was pronounced dead at the scene by the Coroner’s office.
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