48-year-old Lake in the Hills man dies after fire destroys home

GoFundMe campaign to help family with medical, funeral expenses

LAKE IN THE HILLS – A 48-year-old Lake in the Hills man has died after a fire at his home Sunday.

Christopher Laing, of the zero to 100 block of Newbury Court in Lake in the Hills, died at 2 p.m. Sunday at OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center, according to a news release from the Winnebago County Coroner’s Office.

The Huntley Fire Protection District responded to the fire about
3:45 a.m. Sunday. The house was fully engulfed in flames when crews arrived, and it has been deemed uninhabitable, Battalion Chief Mike Pierce said.

A GoFundMe page was created to help the Laing family with medical and funeral expenses.

Laing suffered from smoke inhalation during the fire, according to the release.

Laing and his brother, Mike Laing, both were inside the home at the time of the fire, Mike’s daughter, Abby Laing, said on the GoFundMe page.

Christopher Laing made it out of the house, alerted neighbors to call 911, and then went back into the house to get his brother, Abby Laing said.

Both men suffered second-degree burns to their face, neck and hands, according to the GoFundMe page.

At the scene of the fire, Mike Laing complained of difficulty breathing and was intubated by emergency medical technicians. Christopher Laing seemed stable and was not intubated until he arrived at the hospital.

The brothers arrived at OSF Saint Anthony about 6:30 a.m. and were covered in soot, Abby Laing said. They had to be cleaned to assess the degree of damage to their skin.

Abby Laing visited her father Monday and said he is in stable but critical condition. A bronchoscopy was performed to clean out soot from his lungs. His burns were treated, dead skin was removed, and breathing tubes should be removed in 24 to 48 hours, depending on his swelling, she said.

Mike Laing lost all of his belongings in the fire, and neighbors are collecting donations, such as clothing.

The family’s two dogs also died in the fire.

Huntley Fire Marshal Ken Madziarek and the Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshal continue to investigate.

An estimated cost of the damage was not available as of Monday night.

The Winnebago County Coroner’s Office will conduct Christopher Laing’s autopsy Tuesday, and toxicology test results are expected in about three weeks, according to the coroner’s office.

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