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Four Dead After Overnight Fire
Video updated January 18, 6:00 p.m.
Text updated January 18, 6:00 p.m.
Four people are dead including two teenagers after a late-night fire ripped through a Springfield home. The lone survivor is fighting for her life but did survive thanks to a neighbor and a man in a truck who happened to be passing by.
Investigators combed the scene at 901 North Ninth Street for 12 hours trying to determine exactly what sparked the blaze.
“This is the worst fire that we've had in Springfield in over 25 years,” Springfield Fire Chief Ken Fustin said.
“Right now we have most of our investigators working this fire," Fire Marshall Rick Weber said. “A driver who's not even from the state that happened to be driving by, spotted the fire, put himself at risk to try to save these people."
His efforts were not in vain, although only one person got out with the help of firefighters and a neighbor.
“There was a female occupant who had exited the building from a second floor window," Fustin said.
Meanwhile, two teenage boys and two men were trapped inside.
“Smoke will not wake you up," Weber said. "It will actually put you in a deeper sleep."
Whether they were in a deep sleep is not known and whether the family had working smoke detectors could be difficult to find out.
“The amount of fire that was inside the building when we arrived, if there would have been any smoke detectors, they probably would have all burned up by then,” Fustin said.
As investigators band together looking for clues, they are thanking the people who helped make this tragedy sting a little less.
“The biggest thing, I really appreciate these efforts," Weber said. "They possibly saved this life tonight."
Investigators said there is no official word on the cause, but a preliminary investigation shows the fire likely started on the ground floor and spread to the second story.
The fire marshall did have a K-9 at the scene searching for any accelerants, but that is just protocol.
At last check, the sole survivor of the fire was in the intensive care unit at Memorial Medical Center. She is listed in critical but stable condition.
Text updated January 18, 11:00 a.m.
A deadly fire on Springfield's north end last night killed four people and left another injured. The tragedy happened in the 900-block of North Ninth Street.
The fire is still under investigation, but we do know the blaze broke out on the first floor, killing four of the five people who were inside.
This is the deadliest house fire in Springfield since 1987. The sole survivor was a 59-year-old woman who climbed on the porch roof before being whisked to safety.
A family member said she is related to all of the victims, who did not make it out. Two of them were teenagers. We spoke with their uncle, Ralph Lewis.
"Great kids, great kids," Lewis said. "Great brother-in-law. Great cousin. And we all deal with it the best way we can."
The fire appears to have started on the first floor and spread throughout the home. The cause of the blaze is undetermined at this time, and we're told it's too early to determine if the fire is suspicious.
We hope to know more as the day goes on. Springfield firefighters, neighbors, and passersby are credited with trying to save as many lives as possible. One person is hospitalized at this time. Their condition is unknown.
Stay with ABC Newschannel 20 for the latest.