Family: Romero killed in fire|No positive ID in trailer blaze

Published 6:26 pm Monday, June 29, 2009

By By Kerry Whipple Bean

Jody Romero’s family had been trying to get her help in recent weeks, hoping the Brewton resident and mother of two would turn her life around.
Now they are mourning the woman they believe died in a mobile home fire Tuesday afternoon.
Officials have not positively identified the body, but Romero’s stepmother Debby Macks believes Romero, 33, was inside the trailer when it caught fire around 1 p.m. at the M&M Mobile Home Park on U.S. 31 North.
Investigators have not yet determined the cause of the fire.
Romero had problems with alcohol addiction for years, said Macks, who has known Romero since she was 3 years old and helped raise her.
Macks said Romero lived in the mobile home with other residents. She questioned whether anyone else had been at home at the time, but investigators said they believe the deceased person was the only one home.
Escambia County Sheriff’s Department Chief Deputy Mike Lambert said he also had received no conflicting statements about other people being in the home at the time of the fire.
Paulk said the fire is still under investigation. An autopsy has been conducted, but officials are still awaiting a positive confirmation of the victim’s identity.
Lambert said a preliminary autopsy has ruled the death accidental.
Appleton Volunteer Fire Chief Mike Tyler, whose department led the firefighting effort at the scene, said he could not speculate as to the cause of the blaze.
At the time of the fire, an extension cord stretched from the mobile home where Romero lived to another mobile home about 200 yards away.
Tyler and wife Ginny, also an Appleton volunteer firefighter, were called to the scene again Wednesday to put out hotspots in the trailer.
Most of the structure and its contents were destroyed, but it appeared the fire began close to the kitchen, where the victim’s body was found.
Macks said that pending a positive identification of her stepdaughter, funeral arrangements are pending. Services will likely be held in Louisiana, where Romero was raised in her early childhood and where her two children live.

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