Woman dies in morning fire at Champaign mobile home park
CHAMPAIGN — One person is dead and a second was injured in an early morning fire that destroyed a Champaign mobile home.
The Champaign County coroner's office identified the woman as Norma J. Munds, 76. An autopsy is scheduled for Saturday.
Champaign Fire Chief Doug Forsman confirmed that she was found dead in the bedroom of the home at 17 Apricot Drive. A man who was her long-time companion was taken to Presence Covenant Medical Center in Urbana with burns to his arms, the chief said.
Lt. Pat Devaney reported that the man, whose name was not immediately available, was treated and released.
Firefighters were called at 7:19 a.m. to the home in the Shadow Wood Mobile Home Park, located in the 1600 block of North Market Street.
A neighbor who did not want to be named reported hearing an explosion then saw flames shooting into the air.
Firefighters were hampered in their efforts by the amount of items inside the home, which kept them from getting in to extinguish the flames.
"We had a very difficult time getting in," Forsman said, referring to the accumulation of property that could be seen through the broken windows and holes in the home.
Norbert Sterling, a neighbor, stood in the cold watching and hoping for the best.
"I hope they got her out. She was in a wheelchair," he said of the woman living there.
Sterling said he's lived in the park 25 years and believed the couple had been there at least as long.
The neighbor who did not want to be named said the couple's granddaughter lives in another home in the park.
Firefighters and police remained at the home trying to figure out what started the fire.
An end loader was brought in to help clear the debris.