Westville area woman in hospital following a fire
WESTVILLE — A Westville area woman remains hospitalized at an Indianapolis hospital following an early Friday morning fire at her mobile home.
Kathy Taylor, 37, was listed in critical condition at Wishard Memorial Hospital's burn unit, hospital spokesman Todd Harper said Friday afternoon.
The Illinois state fire marshal's office and local fire officials are still investigating the blaze, which destroyed the home at the Wallace Mobile Home Park at 16572 East 1200 North Road, just east of Westville.
Firefighters were called to the blaze at 1:40 a.m., said Gary Wright, chief of the Westville Area Fire Protection District.
"It came in as a trailer fire with the possibility of two people trapped," Wright said, adding that only one occupant was actually home at the time. He said a Vermilion County sheriff's deputy and a Westville police officer were able to rescue Taylor before fire crews arrived.
"They went into the front room of the trailer," Wright said, adding the woman was unconscious. "It appears she may have been sleeping in the front room."
When firefighters arrived, the back end of the trailer, where a bedroom was located, was fully engulfed in flames, Wright said. He said firefighters from Westville, Catlin and Georgetown had the blaze extinguished in about 30 minutes, but stayed on the scene until around 5:30 a.m.
He said the mobile home is a total loss. A damage estimate was not available.
Wright said the woman, who he did not identify, was taken to Provena United Samaritans Medical Center in Danville, and then flown by helicopter to Wishard. He said she suffered smoke inhalation and burns.
Wright said the fire doesn't appear to be suspicious.
"But right now, it's still under investigation because we can't talk to the occupant yet," he said.
Neighbors identified the woman as Taylor and said she lived in the mobile home with her mother, who recently moved into a nursing home.
Phil Johnson said he has lived in the mobile home next door for seven years. He said Taylor is the sister of his wife's stepmother.
Johnson was asleep when his wife noticed that the south end of their neighbor's home was on fire. She called 911 and then woke up her husband.
Johnson said the police showed up quickly, and he watched as they carried Taylor out of the burning structure. He said the fire was so hot that it melted the metal skirting on the back end of his mobile home.
"Thankfully, it wasn't that windy," he said, adding firefighters brought the fire under control before it spread.