Firefighters pull two people from burning camper in Peoria; man and woman die at hospital

Posted at 3:39 AM, Dec 02, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-02 19:48:36-05

Officials responded Friday morning to a camper fire in Peoria.

Crime scene tape surrounded the area near 81st Avenue and Roosevelt Street  following the early morning fire.

Firefighters were called to a home around 2:15 a.m. in response to a camper on fire. First responders pulled a male and female from the burning camper.

According to a Peoria Fire Department spokesperson, both victims were rushed to the hospital in critical condition. Both victims, said to be in their forties, were later pronounced dead.

ABC15 crews on the scene say it appears the camper that caught fire is located in the backyard of the home on 81st Avenue.

Arson investigators are trying to figure out what started the blaze.

The Peoria Police Department originally called the fire "suspicious," but have since said the fire has been determined to be "accidental" in nature, sparked by electrical problems. The popping sounds described by a neighbor appeared to have come from spray paint cans inside the camper.

An elderly woman who lives in the home was letting the couple camp out in her backyard.  Roberta Yancey told ABC15 News that she did not even hear it happen. Her home was not damaged by the flames.

"It's not a very large trailer. They were right by the door. They might not even had an opportunity to get to that door," said Peoria Police officer Brandon Sheffert, a spokesman for the department.

Peoria fire captain Hunter Clare said the couple appeared to have died from respiratory failure caused by smoke inhalation.

Police are still working to determine the identity of the victims.

"It's always tough, these tragic incidents, for everyone involved. Two people lost their lives, everybody tried their best and did everything they could", said Sheffert.