Mary Martin spoke of her neighbor Patrick Sheahan with respect, not wanting to divulge personal information about the late Algonquin man but wanting people to know he was very sweet.
“He was very sweet and a wonderful neighbor,” Martin said. “I can’t stress enough how wonderful he was.”
Martin and her family regularly checked in on the 84-year-old who lived alone at 4780 Iroquois Road. The Martins had been Sheahan’s neighbors for 20 years.
“It’s sad,” a visibly upset Martin said.
Her husband called the fire department around 11:11 p.m. after spotting the fire when he went to Sheahan’s home to check on him. Algonquin-Lake in the Hills Fire Protection District firefighters arrived on the scene to find smoke and fire coming from the ranch style home.
Sheahan was trapped inside and died of smoke inhalation, authorities said. His dog also died in the fire.
Firefighters went door-to-door alerting neighbors of the fire. Fire trucks lined the street _ with 10 area fire departments responding to assist _ to battle the fire, one neighbor said.
Smoke lingered in the air in the neighborhood, located a block east of the Fox River in unincorporated McHenry County, and smoke rose from some debris left on the front lawn.
A neighbor said Sheahan was quiet but friendly, often waving to his neighbors.
Fire officials did not release additional information and are investigating the cause.