BENTON CITY — A 16-year-old Benton City girl died Saturday morning when the mobile home in which she was sleeping caught fire.
Her 12-year-old brother was able to escape through a window unhurt to a neighbor's house, officials said.
Authorities did not release the girl's name. However, witnesses said the girl who died was Rebecca Conner. Her father, James M. Conner, lives at the mobile home at 22509 E. Badger Road in a rural area outside of Benton City. He was not home at the time of the fire.View Larger Map
Fire Chief Ron Duncan with Benton Fire District 2 said they were called about 8:48 a.m. to reports of a burning single-wide mobile home.
A witness, who asked that her name not be used, said she was driving to Benton City on Badger Road just before 9 a.m. Saturday when she spotted the smoke from the mobile home.
"I saw the flames and pulled over to the side of the road and called 911," she said. "They had already had a report but had a different address, so I gave the right one."
A Benton County sheriff's deputy arrived within three to four minutes.
"There was an older man in the yard, but he didn't look panicked," the witness said. "I had no idea there was anyone in the trailer."
By the time fire trucks arrived several minutes later, the mobile home was engulfed. Firefighters were able to extinguish the blaze, and that's when they found the teen.
Nothing remained of the mobile home but a blackened shell and scorched trees.
Calling her death "tragic, horrible," Sheriff's Detective Erik Magnuson said the cause of the fire is unknown.
"There will be a fire investigation, which is normal when there's a loss of life," he said.
Benton County Coroner John Hansens said an autopsy has been scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Monday.
Saturday afternoon Hansens said he was not releasing her name yet because there still were relatives to notify of her death.