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1608 E Cantrell St fire 7 12.28.18.jpg

JIM BOWLING, HERALD & REVIEW Members of the Decatur Fire Department fight a house fire at 1608 East Cantrell Street Friday December 28, 2018.

DECATUR — The Decatur Fire Department is seeking the public's help in its investigation of a Friday house fire that killed a 67-year-old woman.

In a Facebook post Wednesday, Decatur fire officials released a short video of footage taken at the scene of the fatal blaze, 1608 E. Cantrell St., and asked for anyone with video of the fire to contact the department. Sharing video of the fire might help with the department's investigation, the post said. 

Fire Inspector Brad Gillmar said there were no new developments in the investigation as of Wednesday afternoon. He said that other than Decatur police and the Macon County coroner becoming involved, nothing changes with the fire department's investigation process when a fatality is reported. 

Coroner Michael Day said the preliminary cause of death for Bertha Louise Harden, whose body was found amid the rubble of the destroyed brick home, was carbon monoxide inhalation from the smoke and soot at the scene. 

Day said an autopsy performed Saturday morning at the McLean County Coroner's Morgue in Bloomington found no sign of foul play and "no injuries inconsistent with fire involvement." 

Firefighters were called to the East Cantrell address at 8:09 a.m. Friday. Capt. Kirk Riley said they were alerted to the possibility there could be one or two people in the house, but firefighters were prevented from entering due to the extent of the fire and the condition of the building. 

Day said the coroner's office was summoned to the scene around 11 p.m. Friday after firefighters found Harden's body. An inquest into her death is pending, he said. 

Gillmar said anyone with information or video of the fire to share with the department should call (217) 424-2811.


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Contact Jaylyn Cook at (217) 421-7980. Follow him on Twitter: @jaylyn_HR

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Government Reporter

Government reporter for the Herald & Review.

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