TROY, Ill. – The Illinois State Fire Marshal’s Office is investigating the cause of a house fire that claimed the lives of 63-year-old Thomas J. Major and his wife 64-year-old Deborah S. Major in Troy, IL.
The fire occurred in the 100 block of Avalon Drive just before 1:00 a.m. Monday. Investigators believe the fire began in the attached garage and quickly spread, ripping a hole through a residence and leaving a man and woman dead.
“It's heartbreaking,” said Nick Blackwell, neighbor. “You don't expect something like that to happen but it did.”
Neighbors said they were sleeping when they heard a loud noise that sounded like an explosion.
“I was sitting there watching TV, sleeping in my recliner and I heard a boom. I thought I heard a car drive off and I fell asleep again and the room starting lighting up. Looked out the window and the entire garage was engulfed,” said Mike Coleman, neighbor.
The neighbor’s home on the north side of the property was badly damaged too but they were able to escape after residents banged on their door.
“They pounded on our windows and doors and they were getting ready to kick the door in to get us out,” said Jeff Cunningham.
Neighbors described the couple that died in the house fire as very quiet and said they were married, in their 60s, and had lived in the home for decades.
The Madison County Coroner’s Office has not released the names of the victims.