Man Found Dead in Apartment House Fire on Grand Ave, Waukegan

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Police, firefighters and paramedics from Waukegan responded about 5:44 a.m. Thursday, October 19, 2023 to a report of an apartment fire at 803 Grand Avenue in Waukegan. Multiple callers reported heavy smoke in the building, and a fire at the rear of the building. Waukegan Fire Department Battalion 1 upgraded the fire deparmtent response to a “Working Still” by 5:48 a.m. and upgraded the fire department response to a MABAS Box Alarm level at about 5:58 a.m. The fire scene was located in a cul-de-sac on the west side of Grand Avenue.

MABAS Division 4 Box Alarm #16-1 activated by 6:02 a.m., and was struck out by 6:10 a.m.

Firefighters arrived on the scene to find flames and heavy smoke coming from the rear of a first-floor apartment. During a search of the apartment where the fire originated, firefighters located an adult male, who was unresponsive in a bedroom. The man was pronounced deceased at the scene.

The Lake County Coroner’s Office was immediately notified and responded to the scene.

The deceased was identified as 38-year-old Ethan Winnett, of Waukegan. Later on Thursday, October 19, 2023, an autopsy was completed at the Lake County Coroner’s Office. Preliminary autopsy results indicate that Mr. Winnett died from inhalation of products of combustion (smoke inhalation) as a result of the fire. Toxicology testing, including Carbon Monoxide, is pending.

The cause of the fire is under investigation by the Waukegan Fire Department. The building that was affected by fire is a 3-story wood frame style like a house, or was a house converted to an apartment building.

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