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Names released of 2 victims in fatal Minn. mobile home fire

Firefighters in Alexandria, Minn., work the scene of a fatal fire Friday, Jan. 5, 2018, at Viking City Mobile Home Park in Alexandria. Two people died in the blaze. Beth Leipholtz / Forum News Service1 / 2
Smoke billows out of a mobile home Friday, Jan. 5, 2018, in Alexandria, Minn., three hours after firefighters responded to the call. Beth Leipholtz / Forum News Service2 / 2

ALEXANDRIA, Minn. -- Two people died in a mobile home fire early Friday, Jan. 5, in Alexandria.

Rose Marie Couillard, 59, and James Willis Chandler Jr., 49, were found in a bedroom and later pronounced dead.

According to a news release from the Alexandria Police Department, shortly before 5 a.m., the Alexandria Fire Department, North Ambulance and the Alexandria Police Department were called to a mobile home that was on fire with smoke and flames visible. The home was inside the Viking City mobile home park near 6th Avenue and Victor Street.

Upon arriving, responding units were were told that two people may be inside the home. The fire department was able to knock down the flames enough to enter the residence and found the victims in the back bedroom, according to the police department.

First responders began life-saving measures on the victims after they were taken out of the home.

According to Alexandria Fire Chief Jeff Karrow, this is the first fatal fire in Douglas County in 15 years, and it is the first fatal fire in Minnesota for 2018.

The Midwest Medical Examiner's office will be conducting autopsies, according to the police department, and the Alexandria Police Department and the State Fire Marshal's office will be conducting a complete investigation of the fire. At this time, the cause of the fire is undetermined.

Celeste Edenloff

Celeste Edenloff, a reporter for the Echo Press, has lived in the Alexandria Lakes Area since 1997. She worked for the Echo Press as a reporter from May of 1999 to February 2011, and is happy to be back and once again sharing the stories of the people in this community. Besides being a reporter, Celeste is a certified fitness instructor and enjoys teaching bootcamp classes through Snap Fitness. She also enjoys running and has participated in more than 170 races with her husband, Al, covering the 5K, 10K, 10-mile and half-marathon (13.1 mile) distances.


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