x
Breaking News
More () »

Five family members killed in Rock Falls house fire

Five members of the same family died in a fire in their home in Rock Falls, Illinois.

Five members of the same family died in a fire in their home in Rock Falls, Illinois.

Several fire departments were sent to the fire at about 5 a.m. Wednesday, January 13, 2016.

A 911 hang up call placed from a location about a block away from the burning home, about two minutes before the call reporting the fire, according to the fire department.

Firefighters said two adults and three older children were all killed in the burning home; their bodies were all found in upstairs bedrooms.  The victims were later identified as 61-year-old Patrick Hopkins, 49-year-old Mary Hopkins, 26-year-old Maggie Hopkins, 16-year-old Donovan Hopkins, and 13-year-old Katie Hopkins.

"Crews made several attempts to reach the second floor bedrooms but the fire had extended into that area," said a statement from Deputy Fire Chief Bill Milby.

Firefighters said flames were visible from the windows of the first-floor living room and heavy smoke flowed from the home when they arrived, and that it appeared the fire may have started in the living room area of the two-story home in the 400 block of Second Avenue.

Donovan Hopkins was a sophomore at Newman Central Catholic High School, according to school superintendent Kathy Howard.  Donovan was a member of the Newman football team, and he was moved up to the varsity level for the playoffs.

"Donovan was part of a very close knit group of sophomore boys who went to St. Andrew’s School in Rock Falls together since kindergarten and participated in football together here at Newman. Donovan was also a baseball player at Newman," Howard said.

Katie Hopkins was a seventh-grader at St. Andrew School in Rock Falls, remembered for her smile and sense of humor.  In an English assignment this year, Katie wrote about her mother's battle with breast cancer and the support she received from others, Howard said as she quoted Katie's essay which said, "I hope during the rest of my life I witness more great acts of kindness and mercy, even if they are small acts."

The cause of the fire remained under investigation.

Firefighters remained at the scene of the fire hours after it was put out.

Five family members killed in Rock Falls house fire

Paid Advertisement