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Mother and Daughter Identified from Fatal Fire in Ottawa on Christmas Eve


The LaSalle County Coroner has identified the two people that died in a Christmas Eve early morning fire in Ottawa.  The LaSalle County Coroner said Arthelia M. Brewer, 44, and her daughter, Melani A. Embry, 3, both of Ottawa died from smoke inhalation and carbon monoxide intoxication from the fire.  A teenage male was able to self-evacuate was transported to OSF St. Elizabeth for minor injuries and smoke inhalation and was last reported in stable condition.  Arthelia Brewer and Malani Emby were found unresponsive in a bedroom and transported to OSF St. Elizabeth Hospital, where both mother and daughter succumb to injuries from the fire.

On December 24, 2022, around 2:09 AM, The Ottawa Fire Department was dispatched to a two-unit apartment on Sycamore Street with visible flames and two people reported to be trapped in the apartment.  The first Ottawa units arrived at 2:13 AM and found fire showing from a window on the northwest corner of the structure.  Crews found heavy fire in the kitchen and living room areas upon entry.  The fire was declared under control at 3:03 AM.  The Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshall was called to assist in the investigation.  The investigation for the cause of the fire is on-going.  Initial findings indicate the cause of the fire is accidental but more details will be released at a later date.

The Ottawa Fire Department was assisted by the Ottawa Fire Department, Naplate Fire Department, Wallace Fire Department, Marseilles Area Ambulance Service, Marseilles Fire Department, Grand Ridge Fire Department, Utica Fire Department, Streator Fire Department, Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshall, Ottawa Water Department, Nicor and Ameren.

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