28-year-old Rochelle woman named as victim of Sunday fire

At 10:46 a.m. on Sunday the Rochelle Fire Department was called to a residence located at 503 7th Ave., apartment two, following a report of smoke. Upon arrival, the victim was found to be deceased. RPD then responded to the scene and began its investigation.

ROCHELLE — On Wednesday morning, the Rochelle Police Department released the name of the female victim of a Sunday morning house fire in town. Devin K. Gibbons, 28, of Rochelle passed away as a result of the incident. 

RPD Chief Eric Higby declined to comment further on the matter on Wednesday and a press release said the investigation is ongoing. An autopsy was conducted Tuesday.

At 10:46 a.m. the Rochelle Fire Department was called to a residence located at 503 7th Ave., apartment two, following a report of smoke. Upon arrival, the victim was found to be deceased. RPD then responded to the scene and began its investigation.

“It was explained to me that there was an apartment issue involving a water leak that morning,” Higby said Monday. “Somebody checked apartment two at the location and saw smoke and called the fire department. They got on scene and put out the fire and found someone who had passed away.” 

RPD has not ruled out foul play in the incident. Higby said Monday that RPD has not been made aware of any other individuals that were in the apartment besides the victim.

Rochelle Police and Fire were assisted by the Red Cross, Ogle-Lee Fire Protection District, Ogle County Coroner, the Ogle County Sheriff’s Office, Sterling Police Department, Illinois State Police Crime Scene Investigators and the Illinois State Fire Marshal. 

“The Illinois State Police Crime Scene Investigators were there to collect evidence and determine whether a crime was committed, similar to why the Illinois State Fire Marshal was there,” Higby said Monday. “The Ogle County Sheriff’s Office was there for manpower and investigating and did things like talk to neighbors.”

The Red Cross assisted with temporary housing for residents of the other units of the apartment. Higby said he didn’t think there was “an extreme amount” of fire damage to the inside of the unit and the damage to the outside of the building was minimal.

“When I arrived on scene and was outside, I could barely tell that there was a fire,” Higby said.

The building at 503 7th Ave. is still currently roped off with crime scene tape.

Higby told the News-Leader Wednesday that more information will be released regarding the incident at a later date.

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