Examiners from the DuPage County Croner’s Office have formally identified the Naperville couple who died Wednesday morning when fire destroyed their home on the city’s west side.
Coroner Richard A. Jorgensen, in a two-sentence news release issued Friday afternoon, said his office “has positively identified the two victims from the Dec. 18, 2013 Naperville house fire on Field Court as Janet W. Lambert and Thomas B. Lambert.”
Jorgensen added the “cause and manner of death are pending investigation.”
Thomas Lambert, 57, and Janet Lambert, 56, were killed after the fire erupted about 6:50 a.m. Wednesday in their two-story house at 1212 Field Court.
The couple lived there with Thomas Lambert’s sister, Patricia Carhoff, who had recently moved to Naperville from Arizona; the siblings’ father, John Lambert, 84; and an unidentified, 21-year-old man who worked as a full-time caregiver. Carhoff and John Lambert escaped the flames, and the caregiver was rescued from the second floor by Naperville Fire Department firefighters.
Carhoff, 56, was released Wednesday from Edward Hospital in Naperville after undergoing treatment there for fire-related injuries. John Lambert was hospitalized there in good condition, while the caregiver was taken to Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood. His identity and condition were not known.
Fire investigators are reportedly still trying to pinpoint the source of the blaze and determine its cause. Deputy Fire Chief Rick Sander did not immediately return a telephone message left Friday afternoon at his office that sought comment on the progress of the investigation.
Thomas Lambert was a psychologist with a practice in downtown Naperville. He had been battling an aggressive type of brain tumor called glioblastoma multiforme, and had been hoping for acceptance into a clinical trial at the Cleveland Clinic.
Janet Lambert lost her vision 28 years ago to brain cancer, according to family friend Lee Thomsen. The couple had been married more than 20 years.
Firefighters, after rescuing the caregiver, were ordered out of the building over fears it was about to collapse.
The floor of an upstairs bedroom, where Thomas and Janet Lambert were believed to have been at the time, ultimately gave way, a fire official said Wednesday. The couple’s bodies were later found in the rear of the house.
Sander on Wednesday said the fire does not appear to have been suspicious or criminal in nature. Funeral arrangements for the Lamberts are reportedly pending.