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Update: Two people die in mobile home fire - names released

Smoke billows out of a mobile home at 1611 Sixth Avenue East in Alexandria, three hours after firefighters responded to the call. (Beth Leipholtz / Echo Press) 1 / 2
Alexandria firefighters work the scene of a fatal fire at Viking City Mobile Home Park in Alexandria. Two people died in the blaze. (Beth Leipholtz / Echo Press) 2 / 2

The names of two people who died in a mobile home fire early Friday morning in Alexandria have been released.

They are Rose Marie Couillard, 59, and James Willis Chandler, Jr., 49.

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 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 two people in the back bedroom, according to the police department.

Both victims were taken out of the home and life saving measures were started, but they were later pronounced dead, according to the release.

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.

Reporter Beth Leipholtz contributed to this story.

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. She enjoys running and has participated in nearly 200 races with her husband, Al, covering the 5K, 10K, 10-mile and half-marathon distances.

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