Local law enforcement and the State Fire Marshal’s Office are investigating a mobile home fire that occurred in Levy County early Wednesday morning. Lt. Scott Tummond of Levy County Sheriff’s Office said the Bronson Fire Department responded to calls at 2:15 am at NE 105th Ave in unincorporated Levy County. Fire fighters worked for eight hours to extinguish the flames. A child’s swing set was the only thing left unscathed.
The Sheriff’s Office confirmed that Elizabeth Fredrick, 78, and her great-granddaughter, Rhiannon Rickmyer, 10, died in the fire. Rickmyer was a student at Bronson Elementary School. Tummond said that Rickmyer is the third student to die in this area in the past few weeks. The school is offering grief counseling for students and faculty mourning the accident. The Sheriff’s Office offered their thoughts and prayers to the family.
“This is a tragic incident,” said Tummond. “It is going to affect our community…we are preparing for any needs the community may have.”
Levy County Sherriff’s Office, the state fire marshal, and fire departments from Williston, Chiefland and Archer are investigating the cause of the fire. Tummond said they have ruled out foul play.
Tummond warned that mobile homes are particularly susceptible to fires because of their design. He encouraged residents to make sure all appliances are turned off before leaving the house or going to bed. According to the Sheriff’s Office, many homes in North Central Florida utilize natural gas. Tummond encourages residents to double check for leaks before using cooking or heating appliances.