Woman dies in mobile home fire

Deputy Coroner Wally Mitchell, left, and a volunteer from the West Pend Oreille Fire Department take a look inside the mobile home that became fully engulfed Monday night in Priest River. (Photo by NICK IVIE/HNN)

PRIEST RIVER — Authorities say an elderly woman died in a mobile home fire in Priest River Monday night.

Volunteers from the West Pend Oreille Fire Department discovered the body of  Muriel Bennett, 82, after responding to a report of a structure fire at 72 Larch Street at about 9:30 p.m.

The blaze, which gutted the single-wide trailer and scorched a nearby car, was contained after five hours by the 22 volunteer firefighters who responded to the call.

The origin of the fire is still unknown and an investigation by the Idaho State Fire Marshal and Bonner County Sheriff’s Office is ongoing.

Priest River Police Chief Ray Roberts couldn’t speculate to the origin of the fire, but did say that it, “looks accidental” and that they had requested an autopsy to “ensure everything is as it appears to be.”

Bennett’s body was turned over to the Bonner County coroner. She was the only person in the residence at the time and there were no pets present.

Results from the autopsy won’t be available for at least a few weeks.

The West Pend Oreille Fire Department, Bonner County Sheriff’s Office, Priest River Police Department and Bonner County EMS all responded to the call.

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