VANDALIA — A man was found dead as firefighters evacuated a burning building in Vandalia Saturday.
At 12:39 a.m. Saturday, Vandalia Police Department received a report of a fire in Central High Apartments in the 200 block of N. Kennedy in Vandalia. Vandalia and Brownstown firefighters responded to the scene, as well as Vandalia Police and Fayette County Sheriff's Department.
Vandalia Fire Department Chief Keith Meadows said the fire is believed to have started in the hallway of the building's lower levels. As firefighters evacuated residents from the more than 30 apartments, Jerry Voris, 63, of Vandalia, was found dead in the hall area of the first floor. He was pronounced dead by Fayette County Coroner Bruce Bowen.
The rest of the residents of the building were evacuated and unharmed. Firefighters were on the scene until around 3:50 a.m. Vandalia Ministerial Alliance put many of the residents in housing over the weekend and several of the apartments are being reopened to allow residents to return.
Meadows said considering the number of residents in the building, emergency responders did a good job with evacuation.
"I think given everything there, we're very fortunate," he said. "With a building like that with that many residents, we got everyone but one person out safe and that's a good thing."
An autopsy was scheduled for Voris Monday with cause of death determined to be as a result of the fire. The case remains under investigation by the Fayette County Coroner's Office and the Illinois Fire Marshal's office.
Jackson Adams can be reached at 217-347-7151, ext. 131, or at email@example.com or via Twitter @EDNJAdams.