PAXTON — A 67-year-old Paxton woman who was found dead in her mobile home following a fire there Wednesday night likely died prior to the blaze, Ford County Coroner Rick Flessner said.
Flessner said that an autopsy conducted Thursday morning by Dr. Shiping Bao at the Champaign County morgue determined that no soot was found in the airways of the woman, identified as Peggy S. Elkins.
According to Flessner, Mrs. Elkins had congestive heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), leading him to suspect she died of cardiac-related issues.
Mrs. Elkins was pronounced dead at 10 p.m. at the scene of the fire at 446 W. Pine St., Lot 6, Flessner said.
Flessner said there was no indication of foul play.
Paxton Police Chief Coy Cornett confirmed that the incident was not being investigated as a criminal matter, calling it “a tragic accident.”
Paxton Fire Chief Denny Kingren said police were on scene attending to Mrs. Elkins before firefighters arrived. Kingren said he was not sure if there were any “open flames” in the mobile home, but there was “super-heated air” and smoke.
Kingren said the cause of the fire was undetermined.
Funeral arrangements for Mrs. Elkins, a mother of three, were pending at the Knapp-Miller Funeral Home in Paxton, Flessner said.