ROCHELLE — A Massachusetts woman suffered severe burns over a large portion of her body while sitting in the cab of a semi truck Monday morning.
The victim, in her 70s, was waiting in the cab of his husband’s truck while he unloaded cargo in the rear of the truck. The incident took place at 915 N. Dement Road, just after 10 a.m.
According to Rochelle Fire Chief Dave Sawlsville, the husband was gone for approximately 15 minutes, when he, along with the security guard, heard commotion and found the whole cab to be fully engulfed with his wife still inside.
The husband attempted to pull her from the cab, and once they did she had suffered second- and third-degree burns over nearly half of her body. According to Sawlsville, the victim is a double-amputee and suffered burns on her hands, stomach, thighs and buttocks.
He added that she only had one burn spot on her face and did not complain of difficulty breathing.
Sawlsville explained that when there is a fire with significant injuries the state fire marshal’s office conducts an investigation. It was determined that the origin of the fire was likely to be misuse of smoking material.
The victim was transported to Rochelle Community Hospital and shortly thereafter airlifted by Life Flight to Saint Anthony Medical Center in Rockford to be treated for her injuries. The husband was transported to the hospital by Sawlsville.
The Rochelle Police Department along with Ogle-Lee Fire Protection crews assisted the fire department.