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Official: Cause of fire hard to determine after floor collapse

LAKE IN THE HILLS – A floor collapsing in the back of a Lake in the Hills house that caught fire Sunday is making it harder for officials to determine the cause, a fire marshal said.

Huntley Fire Protection District Fire Marshal Ken Madziarek said Thursday the cause of the fire in the zero to 100 block of Newbury Court still is under investigation with the Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshal and the Lake in the Hills Police Department.

Madziarek could not give an estimate for how long the investigation will take.

Christopher Laing, 48, died because of smoke inhalation after the fire, according to a news release from the Winnebago County Coroner’s Office. Christopher lived with his brother, Mike Laing, who will be released from the hospital Friday, Mike’s daughter, Abby Laing, said.

Both brothers and two dogs were inside the home at the time of the fire. Christopher Laing made it out of the house, alerted neighbors to call 911, and then went back into the house to get Mike Laing, Abby Laing said.

“He is broken up about his brother and his puppies, but all the support and donations made him cry happy tears,” Abby Laing said in a statement.

Christopher Laing was a beloved lifetime partner to Mary Zirlin and father to Jake Zirlin, according to his obituary. He was a salesman for U.S. Waterproofing and loved Chicago sports teams.

A GoFundMe page was created for the family and raised more than $15,000 in three days.

A memorial visitation will be held from 11 a.m. until a 5 p.m. service Saturday, March 10, at Ahlgrim & Sons Funeral and Cremation Services, 330 W. Golf Road, Schaumburg.

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