Disabled man trapped, killed in mobile home fire

By: Tim Johnston Email
By: Tim Johnston Email

A Whitley county man, who did not want to be identified, lives just yards away from where a mobile home once sat. Now there is only a heap of twisted, charred metal after a fire scorched the home, trapping and killing a disabled 29-year-old man inside. The victim's name has not been released, at this time.

"There's only so much one person can do," said the neighbor.

The man says the flames were at least 20 to 30 feet high when he went to help his brother and nephew fight the fire. He says he didn't know if anyone was still inside, at the time, but he described a difficult moment for his nephew.

"My nephew said he heard him screaming for help. But by the time I got up there, all there was, was a big flame."

"They knew that he was still in there," he said, adding that he had to pull the two men back from the fire because, "there was nothing they could do. They were just going to get burned if they stayed any closer to it."

Panic set in for the man's brother, who was trying to find a woman that lived there, that he referred to as Gracie. The neighbor says his brother feared that Gracie was also stuck inside, but later discovered that the woman and a friend made it out of the fire and went to a nearby home for help.

A firefighter that was at the Saturday night fire said a woman was taken to the hospital with burns to her face and hands, but her injuries did not appear to be life threatening.

An autopsy will be conducted on the bed-ridden 29-year-old on Monday, the exact cause is unknown but the Whitley County Coroner says it's likely from smoke inhalation.

The exact cause of the fire is still under investigation.

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