House fire kills 84-year-old man in Winfield

Posted6/30/2010 12:01 AM

An 84-year-old Winfield man died Tuesday morning in a house fire after neighbors' attempts to rescue him were thwarted by intense heat and smoke, authorities said.

James Dougherty of the 26W200 block of Parkway Drive was pronounced dead at the scene by the DuPage County Coroner's office.


When firefighters arrived at the tri-level home at 9:45 a.m., flames and smoke were coming from a rear bedroom, said Deputy Chief Bryan Lewis of the Winfield Fire Protection District.

"The first crew pulled him out," Lewis said. "He was already deceased."

Neighbors - including Dougherty's daughter, who lives across the street - tried to save him, but were driven back by the heat, flames and thick smoke, Lewis said.

Firefighters are investigating the cause of the blaze, which Lewis said appears to have started in the bedroom. Judging from the amount of heat and smoke, the fire had been burning for some time before multiple calls came in to the fire department, Lewis said.

Dougherty lived alone in the house.

The fire destroyed the upper level of the home, Lewis said.