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TELL CITY – A Tell City man who shared a mobile home with two others lost his life Friday afternoon when fire swept through their residence in a matter of minutes, trapping the 63-year-old inside.
Perry County Coroner Charlie Baumeister said Charles Huff died of smoke inhalation. His body was found on the floor inside a bedroom.
Tell City firefighters were summoned just after 3:30 p.m. after callers reported flames coming from the mobile home, located at 32 Ninth St. on the city’s south side.
The home was owned by Shirley Cronin, who called Huff a close friend and had shared his home with him for more than a decade. Cronin and Huff were inside the home when Cronin said he noticed flames. He tried to reach one door but fire had already spread, blocking his path. He was able to reach safety by a side door as flames enveloped the center part of the trailer.
“It happened that fast. From the time I could walk to the door there were flames everywhere behind me.
Saying he was "in just shock" from the loss of his friend, Cronin said the home was not insured. The local Red Cross had offered him a room in a hotel while he worked to make housing arrangements.
Cronin’s son, who also lived in the home, was at work at the time of the fire.
The Indiana Fire Marshal’s office was at the scene. There was no immediate word Friday night on a cause of the blaze.
ORIGINAL POSTING: TELL CITY – Few details were available Friday afternoon after fire tore through a mobile home at 32 Ninth St. in Tell City.
The county coroner’s office was on scene but no one had confirmed that someone was in the home, located next to the Perry County Port Authority warehouse on the city’s south side.
The fire was reported just before 3:30 p.m. and by the time firefighters arrived, flames were pushing through the roof and out of windows.
Another man believed to be a resident escaped injury.