ST. PARIS – A 66-year-old woman’s body was found in a house destroyed by fire Monday night, according to information released Tuesday by the Champaign County Sheriff’s Office.
The deceased has been identified as Alice Stapleton, according to Champaign County Coroner Dr. Joshua Richards. Preliminary autopsy findings indicate that she died from “inhalation of products of combustion,” according to Richards.
The Montgomery County Coroner’s Office will conduct a complete autopsy.
Firefighters from the Christiansburg and Johnson-St. Paris fire departments, as well as those from the Casstown and Fletcher departments, responded to 3190 S. Elm Tree Road after the Champaign County Communications Center received multiple reports of a structure fire about 8 p.m. Monday. The Sheriff’s Office also responded.
The home appears to be a total loss. Firefighters responding to the scene reported witnessing heavy explosions and fireballs.
Virgil D. and Alice F. Stapleton own the property, according to information on the county auditor’s website.
Besides Richards, investigators from the State Fire Marshal’s Office and from the Sheriff’s Office were summoned to the property and continue an investigation.