Local News

Pana Man Killed in Weekend House Fire

Christian County Coroner Amy Calvert-Winans late Sunday afternoon released to Regional Radio News, the name of the man who died in a structure fire in Pana on Saturday morning.
Calvert-Winans says 43-year-old John E. Beyers of Pana was pronounced dead at the scene at his residence at 10:25 Saturday morning. 
The coroner added that an autopsy was held in Bloomington on Sunday, and preliminary autopsy results indicated that Beyers died of carbon monoxide intoxication from inhaling smoke and soot in the house fire.  She added that toxicology testing is pending.
Pana Fire Chief Rod Bland tells Regional Radio News that their department responded to the fire Saturday morning in the 400 block of East 4th in Pana, to find heavy smoke and fire coming from the residence at 410 East 4th.
Bland said that Pana fire crews made entry into the house, started a search and tried putting out the fire, but were forced out by intense heat and smoke.  Bland added the first floor flashed over with firefighters upstairs, creating a dangerous situation and crews immediately evacuated the residence.  Bland said fire crews aggressively attached the fire and made entry back into the structure, and it was then that they located Beyers' body, called the Christian County Coroner and the Illinois State Fire Marshall's Office.
Bland added that as a result of an investigation by Pana Fire, the Coroner, and the State Fire Marshall's Office, it was determined the fire was caused to be from discarded smoking material in a recliner chair in the first floor living room.  Bland said the fire then spread across the first floor rooms and into the second floor, then into the attic of the home.

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