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Local News

Joliet man dies after clothes catch fire

JOLIET – A 70-year-old man has died after his clothes caught fire Friday at his Joliet home.

Donnie Creal was pronounced dead at 12:36 p.m. Saturday at the burn unit at Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office.

At 9:45 p.m. Friday, firefighters were called to Creal's residence in the 1100 block of Charlesworth Avenue and extinguished a small kitchen fire, according to Joliet Fire Department Battalion Chief Mike Stromberg.

"[Creal] had been sitting on his enclosed porch watching television with his chair next to a propane heater," Stromberg said. "His clothing got too close, he tried to extinguish them himself, but was unable to do so."

Creal then ran through his kitchen to get into the shower and set some packages on the counter ablaze, according to Stromberg. A neighbor called 911 and a Joliet police officer suffered smoke inhalation while removing Creal from the house, Stromberg said.

Creal spoke with investigators in the ambulance as he was taken to Silver Cross Hospital in New Lenox. He later was transported to Loyola. The medical examiner's office has ruled his death an accident.

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