Excerpts from mystateline.com:

The Winnebago County Coroner says a 56-year-old woman was killed in a fire Friday morning in the 800 block of 18th Street, not far from Churchill Park and Keith Creek just before 3 a.m.

Rockford fire officials say after arriving, they could see smoke and flames coming from the outside. Five minutes after arriving, they went inside, where they found the victim. She was taken to the hospital, where she later died. Three dogs also died in the blaze.

Rockford Fire Chief Derek Bergsten says there’s an easy way to prevent these kinds of tragedies. “One thing we would like to emphasize is make sure you have working smoke alarms. That’s imperative so that you can get early notification that you do have a fire in your house so you can exit in a safe manner. This is our second fire fatality this week and we want to make sure everyone has working smoke alarms.”

Bergsten says the fire only took 30 minutes to extinguish, and that the cause is still under investigation.