HOBART, Ind. (CBS) — A toddler was trapped inside a mobile home that was fully engulfed in flames in New Chicago, Indiana on Thursday, but by the time firefighters found her, it was too late.
As CBS 2’s Jermont Terry reported, the Indiana State Fire Marshal on Thursday night was sifting through the rumble and debris, looking for clues into what caused the deadly fire.
Fire crews also returned late Thursday night to deal with hot spots.
The 2-year-old girl’s mother was fortunately saved by firefighters and was airlifted to the University of Chicago Medical Center, but her daughter did not survive.
The fire broke out in the Ravinia Pines mobile home park in the 500 block of East 37th Avenue in New Chicago, just outside Hobart, Indiana.
The call for help brought emergency crews from several fire departments to the scene.
“You could see the smoke from miles away, you know, and the smoke was pretty heavy,” said New Chicago Fire Chief Evin Eakins.
The smoke was so thick that getting into the mobile home was not easy.
The fire had jumped to two adjacent homes, and everyone in those units managed to get out. But the same could not be said for that mother and her 2-year-old daughter in the unit where the fire started.
When crews originally entered, they found the mother unconscious in a back bedroom.
“We found the mother laying on the bedroom floor and was able to pull her out,” Eakins said.
After talking to neighbors, firefighters realized the woman’s 2-year-old daughter was trapped too. But it was too dangerous to go back in immediately.
After reducing the flames, the firefighters reentered and found the girl in a corner in the living room. Neighbors were visibly moved, and so were first responders.
The Lake County, Indiana Coroner’s office said the cause and manner of the girl’s death were pending. She was pronounced dead at 5:20 p.m.
“This is something that you never get used to, and we all have families, and it really, really hurts to see something like this happen,” Eakins said.
Eakins said late Thursday night, the fire did not appear to be suspicious.. There was no word late Thursday night whether there were any working smoke detectors in the trailer.