Walworth County Sunday | Janesville Messenger | Stateline News



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Wednesday, 05 March 2014 07:31

Update: Smoke alarms were working, but residents unable to escape fatal fire

Written by  CSI Media news
Firefighters on the scene March 5, 2014 of a fatal Beloit house fire. Firefighters on the scene March 5, 2014 of a fatal Beloit house fire. Dan Plutchak/staff

BELOIT -- Despite smoke detectors being activated, intense heat and heavy smoke likely were responsible for the deaths of two people in an early morning fire in Beloit.

Clint Christensen, 61, and Jamie Christensen, 33 died in the fire. Caren Christensen, 60, was transported to an area hospital where she is in critical condition, according to a Beloit Police Department news release.

Firefighters were called to a home at 1950 Fairview Drive at 3:52 a.m. March 5 for a report of a fire.

Upon arriving, firefighters were confronted with heavy smoke and heat, according to Beloit Fire Department Assistant Chief Joe Murray.

As the first engine crew began knocking down the fire, the second crew to arrive was able to help with the removal of the victims. The victim who was hospitalized was removed through a window by a police officer, according to Murray.

“The smoke alarms were working and did activate,” Murray said. “They did wake the individuals, they just weren’t able to get out because of the amount of heat in the house.”

It took fire crews 20-30 minutes to control the fire, Murray said. The three adults were the only people in the house at the time, Murray said.

Fire departments from the town of Beloit, South Beloit, Rockton, Harlem-Roscoe and the town of Turtle assisted in battling the blaze. The Janesville fire department assisted in covering parts of Beloit while city firefighters were on the scene.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

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