UPDATED: Fire destroys two homes in Urbana mobile home park
URBANA — Fire destroyed two mobile homes and damaged a third in east Urbana on Tuesday.
A brother and sister were sleeping in the home at 16 Toni Lane when they awoke just before 2 p.m. to the smell of smoke and found a rear bedroom on fire. Flames quickly consumed the home and then jumped to an adjacent residence.
Champaign County Sheriff’s Sgt. Dan Coile identified the occupants of the home as Eulalio Hernandez, 27, and his sister, Yesenia Hernandez, 15. Their mother, Maria Gonzalez, was at work when the fire started. Another sibling was also away from home at the time of the fire.
The brother, sister and a dog got out safely but a guinea pig did not make it.
One firefighter from the Eastern Prairie Fire Department received a twisted ankle.
He was taken to an area hospital, where he was treated and released.
Thick, heavy brown smoke could be seen billowing from the home and the one next to it.
“No. 16 was the first one that started on fire,” said Coile, “then the flames jumped to 15 to the north and it started on fire.”
The resident of 15 Toni Lane was identified as Kelly Bahler. She was at her job when the fire started but returned to the park as firefighters tried to extinguish the flames.
The heat from the fire at 16 Toni Lane melted siding on the home at 17 Toni Lane.
Coile said he did not believe that home was occupied.
Many residents of the Woodland Acres mobile home park were outside watching as several area fire departments worked to get the flames under control. Included in the efforts were Urbana, Carroll, Edge-Scott, Philo, St. Joseph-Stanton, Savoy, Tolono and Eastern Prairie firefighters. The mobile home park is in Edge-Scott’s jurisdiction.
U.S. 150 in front of the park was closed for a couple of hours as the Urbana Fire Department ran a line from a hydrant near the intersection of 150 and University in to the park.
Firefighters were leaving the park around 4 p.m. and MABAS investigators were beginning the work of finding a cause.
Edge-Scott Fire Chief Dan Smith said the cause remained undetermined on Tuesday night.
“We know it started in garage storage area of 16 Toni Lane,” Smith said. “Both buildings were total losses.”
Smith said that he ruled out some air conditioners in the area as a possible cause for the fire.
“There were severe air conditioners there, but none of them were near the area where the fire took place,” he said.