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Major Illinois Dealer Dies in House Fire

April 16, 2012
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Burnham Neal, 89, owner of Ben Tire Distributors in Toledo, Ill., died in a tragic house fire on April 12.
Burnham Neal, right, with his wife Nancy.


His one-story home in Matoon, Ill., was 75% engulfed in flames by the tire firefighters arrived to battle the early morning fire, according to news reports.

Neal was born and raised in Toledo and was the founder of founded Ben Tire Distributors with seven wholesale locations, and also founded and operated Neal Tire & Auto Service, which has 27 locations across central Illinois.

Neal’s wife, Nancy, passed in 2006.

Fire officials are investigating the cause of the fire, and the coroner has not ruled on a cause of death as yet.