House Fire Kills Well Known Shawneetown Man


By Evie Allen

SHAWNEETOWN -- A house fire claimed the life of a Gallatin County man early Wednesday morning.

The Shawneetown Fire Department responded to a fire on West Logan Street just before 8 a.m., Wednesday. It is the home of 42-year-old Mark Scates. Scates lived alone and did not make it out of the house. Scates is from a prominent farming family in Gallatin and White Counties. He was also a good friend to many of the Shawneetown firefighters.

The windows and doors of Mark Scates Shawneetown home were boarded up Wednesday night. At around 7:45 a.m. Wednesday morning the fire department received a call, the home was on fire. 
"We encountered very heavy smoke. Very heavy. It was laying close to the ground," says Fire Chief Terry Golden.
Ridgway and Eldorado fire departments were called in to help, along with Shawneetown Police, Gallatin County EMS, and the Illinois State Fire Marshal. Scates lived alone and firefighter's first move was to make sure no one was inside. Chief Golden says that's when they found Scates body. Scates was immediately taken to Harrisburg Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead just after 8:30 a.m.
Golden says Scates had a close relationship with many of the firefighters, including himself.
"He was just a super nice guy that would help anybody do anything."
The chief admits it's always hard to handle a fire that ends with the loss of life.
"It makes it a lot tougher," he says.
And this one will is be even more difficult for his crew.
"We will get them all together and if anybody needs any special counseling or anything, we will get that for them," says Golden.
Officials believe Scates died of smoke inhalation. The cause of fire is still under investigation.

Funeral services are pending at Vickery Funeral Home 




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