An 88-year-old woman was the person killed in an Allen County mobile home fire Friday morning.
According to a news release from the Allen County Coroner's Office, Wanda June Ray, 88, died of thermal burns and smoke inhalation. The cause of her death has been ruled an accident.
Firefighters from Huntertown, Washington Township, and northeast fire stations responded to a report of a mobile home fire with a person trapped inside. Several calls to 911 reported the fire about 9:35 a.m. in the 14800 block of Auburn Road in Allen County.
Fire crews arrived in five minutes and found the home fully engulfed in flames. Modifications made to the home – an asphalt roof over the metal one and added siding – delayed firefighters' attempts to put out the fire, said Robert Boren, Huntertown Fire Department's operations chief.
It took 20 to 30 minutes to put out the blaze, and Ray's family was at the scene, Boren said.
Stacey Fleming, spokeswoman for the Fort Wayne Fire Department, said the choice of building materials can make it more difficult for firefighters to put out a fire.
Fleming said a recent fire in West Central involved a slate roof on a brick structure, which trapped the energy of the fire inside. When a fire can burn through the roof, the natural venting helps to lessen the energy, Fleming explained.
While Fleming said she could not comment on the structure in Friday's fire, fires in mobile homes tend to spread much faster because of the small space.
The victim in Friday's fire will not be identified until an autopsy is conducted by the Allen County Coroner's Office.
The Indiana State Fire Marshal's Office and the Fire Arson Specialized Team are also investigating the fatality.