UPDATE: two die in weekend house fire

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RURAL PAWNEE, Ill. (WCIA) — Two people have died after a weekend fire in rural Pawnee.

Christian County Sheriff Bruce Kettlekamp said at around 7:15 a.m. Sunday, crews from multiple departments were called to a home at 414 East 1525 North Road in rural Pawnee. The sheriff said a 70 year-old man was found in the home and was taken to HSHS St. John’s Hospital in Springfield, where he passed away. Sangamon County Coroner Jim Allmon later identified the man as Gary Conner. Allmon believes the man died of breathing on smoke based on an autopsy.

A 59 year-old woman was also found in the home. She died at the scene. Christian County Coroner Amy Calvert Winans said the victim is Patricia E. Smith of Pawnee. That victim also died from breathing in smoke, according to the coroner.

Allmon was not sure if or how the two victims were related.

The Illinois State Fire Marshal’s Office is looking into the cause of the blaze. No other details were immediately available.

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