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Mamie Lynn Doolittle

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A 6-year-old boy and his caregiver died, apparently from smoke inhalation, in an apartment fire early today.

Caiu M. Rodriguez was pronounced dead after the fire, the Madison County Coroner’s Office reported. Mamie Lynn Doolittle, 48, died later Saturday afternoon at St. John's Mercy Hospital in Creve Coeur.

The boy’s father, who is divorced from the boy’s mother, was away at work when the fire broke out. The boy’s mother lives outside the metro-east, according to Collinsville Fire Capt. John Nichols.

The autopsy showed evidence of smoke inhalation as the cause of Caiu's death, but further testing is needed.

Firefighters were called at 3:43 a.m. to 106 S. Chestnut, apartment B, in Collinsville and saw smoke coming from the building. The apartment was gutted by the fire, but the other apartment units were undamaged.

The source of the fire appears to have been in a couch in a living area, Nichols said. He said fire investigators were at the apartment until after 9 a.m. but were still investigating what ignited the couch.

“There was no smoke alarm working in the apartment,” Nichols said.

Nichols said he was unsure when the other apartment dwellers would be allowed back into their homes.

Published in Belleville News-Democrat from Feb. 23 to Feb. 28, 2008
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