Elderly woman dies in fire

By Anthony Antoine | aantoine@wcia.com

Published 11/29 2013 06:14PM

Updated 12/03 2013 10:34AM

CHAMPAIGN -- An early morning fire claims the life of an elderly woman, leaving neighbors in shock. 76-year old Norma Mund died inside her mobile home. Crews were called to 17 Apricot Drive around 7 am Friday. WCIA-3’s Anthony Antoine spoke to the neighbor who called 911.

Lester Berrio says she woke up early and looked out her window only to see her neighbors house in flames. She immediately called 911. The fire is out and the crews are gone, but the view from her window will never be the same.

Just 24 hours ago Lester Berrios' neighbor was alive.

“I’m glad I’m alive, but I feel bad it’s a life that was lost, and we couldn’t do anything to help.”

But, she tried.

“While I was talking on the phone I saw the fire so I called 911 and at the same time knocking the doors of the neighbors.”

Fire chief Douglas Forsman and his crew got to the scene.

“When we arrived, there was a single trailer involved with a great deal of fire and smoke. We were advised by a neighbor that was on the outside that there was another resident inside.”

Two people lived inside the residence. The man living there walked out before crews got there. He suffered minor burns and was taken to Presence Medical Center, but Norma Mund was still inside. Lester Berrios made sure emergency crews knew it.

“I kept telling police, 'the wife is in there the wife is in there.'”

But firefighters had their work cut out for them.

“It was very difficult to get into the building. It is literally stacked to the ceiling with material.”

Authorities say the fire was under control within fifteen minutes, but it was too late.

“We were not successful in rescuing the resident. A female resident did die in the fire."

Neighbors say Mund had disabilities, and she would use a wheelchair or a cane to get around. Berrios says she was a very nice lady and she will be missed.

“It’s terrible. It’s a terrible experience.”

Neighbors say Mund has lived inside the home since 1991. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

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