One dead in Mt. Vernon’s second fatal fire this month

One dead in Mt. Vernon’s second fatal fire this month

(UPDATED 01-25-2022)

MT. VERNON, IL — One person has died in the second fatal fire in Mt. Vernon in a little over a week.

A body was recovered from a home on Jones Street early Tuesday morning after an injured man later identified as George Herrington, was found in the front yard. Herrington alerted firefighters who had just arrived on scene of someone still inside the house. The single-story residence was fully engulfed in flames upon their arrival and is reported as a total loss. Herrington was rushed by ambulance to a Mt. Vernon hospital and then airlifted to a burn unit in Springfield.

This is the second fatal fire in Mt. Vernon this month. A house fire on South 24th Street Sunday, January 16th claimed the lives of 18-year-old Ashley Cheatham and her 14-month-old son Brendon Pauling. The baby’s father, Cody Pauling, was burned while attempting to reach Ashley and Brendon. Cody was initially taken to SSM Health Good Samaritan Hospital in Mt. Vernon before being transferred to a Springfield, Illinois burn center. He reportedly received burns to his hands, feet and chest. He was outside the home when firefighters arrived. The home where Ashley and Brendon lost their lives was a complete loss.

The name of the deceased man in the Tuesday morning Jones Street fire is not yet being released pending notification of family. Jefferson County Coroner Roger Hayse says they will be using dental records to confirm the identity of the man found inside the home. The state Fire Marshal’s office is investigating the cause of the blaze, but they reported Herrington had said he woke up to flames already in the house.

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