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March 27. 2014 10:14PM

Seabrook fire leads to 'death investigation'

SEABROOK — Authorities are investigating a death after a mobile home fire Thursday morning.

Senior Assistant Attorney General Jeffery Strelzin would not confirm whether officials consider the death a homicide.

“It’s a death investigation for now,” Strelzin said.

Strelzin said he expects more information could be available today.

Deputy Fire Chief Koko Perkin said the homeowner, Michael “Monk” O’Neill, saw the fire from across the street and tried to get back into the home before he was pulled away by a DirecTV worker performing an installation in the neighborhood.

O’Neill, according to the DirecTV worker and Perkins, was breaking windows in an attempt to gain access to the building, reportedly to save his two cats.

Perkins said he didn’t know if the cats made it out of the fire.

The fire was under control around 10:45 a.m. Thursday, about an hour after firefighters arrived, Fire Chief Everett Strangman said.

A medical examiner was called and could be seen evaluating the interior of the trailer at 50 B St. through the afternoon.

“Trailer fires are pretty hard to get under control due to the cramped conditions,” Strangman said.

Perkins said mobile homes “trap a lot of heat,” which caused the mobile home to fully ignite within “about seven minutes.” Perkins said there was a high volume of items within the home. That made it “pretty hard negotiating in there.”

Perkins said he didn’t know the fire’s cause.

He refused to say whether any potential causes have been ruled out or whether foul play was involved.

The home is located in a park of manufactured and mobile homes off Lafayette Road behind Uncle Hilde’s Lumber Outlet and a strip mall containing the Honey Pot Bar and Lounge and Linda’s Breakfast.

No firefighters were injured, Strangman said.

jquinn@newstote.com


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