Two men, both in their 70s, and two animals were found dead inside a house in the 9600 block of Knolltop Road in unincorporated Union after a fire broke out early Tuesday morning. | Photo: MFRD

The coroner has released the identities of two elderly men who were killed in a fire at a residence in unincorporated McHenry County near Union Tuesday morning.

The Marengo Fire & Rescue Districts and Union Fire Protection District responded around 4:07 a.m. Tuesday to the 9600 block of Knolltop Road in unincorporated Union for a report of a structure fire.

Marengo Fire & Rescue Districts Communication Specialist Alex Vucha said the fire was initially reported by a passerby who saw flames coming from the front of the residence.

The McHenry County Sheriff’s Office said their deputies arrived to find the home engulfed in flames and the deputies were unable to make entry to the residence due to the amount of fire.

Two men, both in their 70s, and two animals were found dead inside a house in the 9600 block of Knolltop Road in unincorporated Union after a fire broke out early Tuesday morning. | Photo: MFRD

Firefighters arrived on the scene in 11 minutes and confirmed heavy flames showing from the northwest corner of the one-story home.

[Suggested Article]  Female found dead after firefighters extinguish extra-alarm fire that heavily damaged home near McHenry

A request for additional manpower and resources was made through the Mutual Aid Box Alarm System (MABAS) due to the rapidly spreading fire, Vucha said.

Nearly 15 neighboring fire departments responded to the aid request.

Vucha said the fire was declared under control within 25 minutes. Crews continued to extinguish residual hotspots for an additional two hours.

Two men, both in their 70s, and two animals were found dead inside a house in the 9600 block of Knolltop Road in unincorporated Union after a fire broke out early Tuesday morning. | Photo: MFRD

The residence sustained heavy fire damage throughout and is uninhabitable.

Firefighters located two victims inside the house during fire suppression operations, Vucha said.

Both adult victims, a dog and a cat were pronounced dead at the scene.

McHenry County Coroner Dr. Michael Rein identified the victims on Wednesday as Eric Dettmer, 73, of Union, and Mark Dodge, 71, of Campbell, New York.

Rein said autopsies will be performed on the two on Thursday. Dettmer lived in the home where the fire occurred.

[Suggested Article]  Attorney general issues warning to Illinois residents about text message scam involving I-PASS
Two men, both in their 70s, and two animals were found dead inside a house in the 9600 block of Knolltop Road in unincorporated Union after a fire broke out early Tuesday morning. | Photo: MFRD

The cause and manner of deaths are pending investigation by the coroner’s office.

The fire district said they remind residents to have working smoke detectors and to replace batteries every six months. “It is important to have an escape plan, practice it, and prepare to use it in the event of an emergency.”

The cause of the fire remains under investigation by the Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshal, Marengo Fire & Rescue Districts, Union Fire Protection District and the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office.

Fire investigators remained on the scene throughout the morning, Vucha added.