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Christopher volunteer firefighter killed in weekend fire

May 6, 2019

CHRISTOPHER, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois State Fire Marshal Office is investigating the cause of a weekend fire that left a volunteer firefighter dead.

Kody Vanfossan died early Sunday fighting a fire at a vacant, two-story building that once housed a furniture store in the southern Illinois city of Christopher.

Fire Chief Ron Learned on Monday wouldn’t give details of the fire, nor its cause, citing the fire marshal investigation. However, Learned said the 24-year-old Vanfossan, the grandson of Christopher Mayor Gary Bartolotti, was a more than eight-year veteran of Christopher’s fire department.

Learned said funeral arrangements are pending for Vanfossan, who is survived by a daughter and his parents.

Christopher, a city of about 2,800 residents, is located about 79 miles (126.5 kilometers) southeast of St. Louis.