La Salle man dies from injuries in high-rise fire

56-year-old died at a Rockford hospital

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A La Salle high-rise resident died after he was injured in an early-morning fire Saturday, the Winnebago County Coroner’s Office said Monday.

Blair Norquist, 56, of La Salle, died at 3:02 p.m. Saturday at a Rockford hospital from injuries that occurred from a fire at 6:32 a.m. Saturday on the eighth floor of 1020 First St., the west tower. There, a lone occupant was rescued from a burning apartment and taken to OSF St. Elizabeth Medical Center in Ottawa.

The Office of the State Fire Marshal dispatched an investigator and the findings are pending, but La Salle Fire Chief Jerry Janick said the fire is not deemed suspicious.

“It appears to be accidental at this time,” Janick said.

At least six fire and EMS companies responded after La Salle Fire activated the box alarm. Janick said the fire was under control within 20 minutes. Evacuated residents were to be returned to their units, he said, as the quarters received limited, if any, damage.