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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 is a reporter for the Alexandria Echo Press and has lived in the Alexandria Lakes Area since 1997. She first worked for the Echo Press as a reporter from 1999 to 2011, and returned in June 2016 to report on the community she calls home. Besides writing articles for the Echo Press, she has a blog, “Newspaper Girl on the Run.” Celeste is on a continuous healthy living journey and loves to teach bootcamp fitness classes and run. She has participated in more than 200 races with her husband, Al, covering the 5K, 10K, 10-mile and half-marathon (13.1 mile) distances.

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