Victim of Mobile Home Fire Dies

By: Sanika Dange Email
By: Sanika Dange Email

SOUTHPORT A Southport family is finalizing plans for a memorial service for a relative who died last week in a mobile home fire.

The fire got very little attention, so many of the woman's neighbors still don't know what happened to her.

Even firefighters didn't know someone was inside until well after they put out the fire.

Heath McDowell was fishing off a nearby dock when he saw smoke billowing from a nearby mobile home.

Heath McDowell remembers, "I got to smelling electrical smoke, and I'm very familiar with that smoke because I'm a firefighter."

McDowell ran up to see neighbor Jeanie Lee Campbell's home fully engulfed in flames.

He describes, "I saw the next door neighbor fighting it through the window with a water hose. And I asked if he needed some help and he said sure so I grabbed the nearby water hose."

Neighbor Lisa Clark says, "There were three residents that tried to put hoses on the fire before the firefighters got here."

Firefighters arrived within 15 minutes.

"I just met them at the truck and told them the power was unhooked and there was nobody inside and just turned it over to them."

But there was someone inside - resident Jeannie Lee Campbell.

Her body wasn't discovered until later that night.

"There was a lot of smoke and fire and they did not realize that there was someone in there until they got everything put out."

Investigators are still trying to figure out what caused the fire.

The middle of the mobile home is the most charred.

Friends and neighbors say that's where she usually slept and watched television.

Her space heater was also plugged in.

McDowell warns, "[You] need to make sure there's nothing anywhere around that could heat up. If the carpet gets hot, if the wall gets hot, anything."

Clark says, "She was just real special, and she'll be very missed. This has been devastating for us."

Friends of Campbell say she also suffered from seizure attacks.

8195 Front Beach Road Panama City Beach, FL 32407 Station: 850-234-7777 News: 850-230-5221 Fax: 850-233-6647
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