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2 dead, 4 injured after fire in Cahokia Heights

The fire happened Tuesday morning at a home on N. 45th Street in Cahokia Heights, right off Grand Street.

CAHOKIA HEIGHTS, Ill — Two people are dead, one person is in critical condition and three firefighters suffered minor injuries Tuesday morning in a fire in Cahokia Heights, Illinois.

The fire happened at a home on N. 45th Street in Cahokia Heights, right off Grand Street.

The Cahokia Volunteer Fire Department was at the scene, working to put out the fire. Fire officials said when the home was fully engulfed when they arrived on the scene.

Officials said one person died at the scene of the fire and two others were taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries. One of the people taken to the hospital died at the hospital later in the day.

St. Clair County Coroner Calvin Dye Sr. confirmed Tuesday evening that Bob Tierce, 78, was pronounced dead at the scene around 10 a.m.

Friends knew Tierce as "Orange" because he would sell watermelons and oranges. His favorite pastimes included hunting, fishing and going to the horse track. 

"Always betting on something but he was a goodhearted person. Always made you feel good and wanted to be loved by him. He made sure we all had a good recognition of what he was able to do for us," said Harold Nance, a friend.

"A very kind generous man always wanting to help people. If he had a little extra money from the machines, he was always very generous," said Samantha Stephens, another close friend.

The coroner also identified the man who later died at the hospital as 82-year-old Larry Wetzel.

"I knew Larry from a truck company I used to work for. He used to help a lot of people out. You know what I'm saying. Homeless, out of penitentiary. I mean he used to help a lot of people out," said Carlton Ward, a friend. 

There is no further information about the third person who was taken to the hospital as of Tuesday evening.

Three firefighters suffered minor injuries and were treated for exhaustion at the scene of the fire.

A bystander suffered a minor burn injury to his hand trying to rescue the people inside, but did not require injury treatment, officials said.

Fire officials told 5 On Your Side there was a lot of debris on the property, including cans of paint and bullets, and the home may belong to a hoarder.

The official cause of the fire has not been released.

This is a developing story. 5 on Your Side will update information as it is confirmed.

Editor's Note: Fire officials at the fire scene initially reported four people had been rescued from the home. They later corrected it to say only three people had been rescued.

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