STERLING – The man who died Monday in a house fire was identified this morning as Timothy A. Aurand, 71.
His wife, Terry L. Aurand, 58, was able to get out of the home on her own and was taken to CGH Medical Center, then transferred to OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center in Rockford, where she is in critical condition, Sterling police and OSF officials said.
When firefighters arrived at the home at 1409 Johnson Ave. around 3 a.m., they found the two-story home ablaze. Timothy Aurand, who was trapped in the rear first-floor bedroom, was taken to CGH Medical Center then transferred to Loyola Hospital in Chicago, where he died.
The cause of the fire, which began in the front of the home and spread rapidly through the first floor, is under investigation, but is believed to be accidental, Fire Chief Mike Dettman said.
Crews from Sterling, Rock Falls, Dixon City, Dixon Rural and Milledgeville fire departments were on scene for about 5 hours.