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Woman Killed In Novato Mobile Home Fire Identified

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NOVATO (BCN) — The Marin County coroner’s office has identified a woman found dead after a fire at her mobile home early Sunday morning as 64-year-old Kareen Prince.

Prince was found in the bedroom of the doublewide mobile home in the Los Robles Mobile Home Park around 2 a.m. Sunday, coroner’s investigator David Foehner said.

An autopsy Monday found no evidence of foul play, and toxicology tests are pending, Foehner said.

Novato firefighters responded to the mobile home, located at 412 San Paulo Way, after a passing motorist noticed the blaze around 12:45 a.m.

The home was engulfed in flames, and two adjacent homes were threatened.

Ellen Sigman and her husband John manage the 212-unit mobile home park, which is for people over 55 years old.

She said the flames were 20-30 feet high. Her home was spared, but another mobile home next to Prince’s sustained some damage though it is still habitable, she said.

Prince was found face down on her bedroom floor, Sigman said.

She said Prince was “very spiritual but a very sad soul” who had lived at the park since 2004.

Sigman said Prince had received radiation treatment for cancer and a few months ago checked herself out of the Country Villa San Rafael Healthcare Center nursing home against medical advice.

Prince’s behavior had become erratic lately, Sigman said.

Sigman said she had told Prince’s ex-husband that she was concerned about her, and the ex-husband had contacted social service agencies in the county.

“She fell through the cracks. I’m angry. She couldn’t be by herself,” Sigman said.

Prince liked to light candles and often chanted, Sigman said.

She said Prince’s daughter, a college student, had been planning to spend the holidays with her mother.

Sigman said the Marin Humane Society had contacted her recently because Prince wanted to adopt a cat.

“I said, ‘Don’t let her,’” Sigman said.

She said Prince’s death has been hard on the residents of the mobile home park.

“We have 280 seniors living here. We need some grief counseling. You could see their vulnerability as they stood out in the rain watching this fire,” Sigman said.

Novato Fire Protection District Deputy Chief Eric Nickel said the fire started in a meditation room in an enclosed porch area at the rear of the trailer.

A candle is believed to have started the fire, and there were “dozens and dozens” of candles in the mobile home, Nickel said.

He said there were no smoke detectors in the mobile home and it’s believed that Prince died of smoke inhalation.

There was an outline of her body in bed surrounded by soot, indicating she had gotten out of bed before she collapsed on the floor next to the bed, he said.

Nickel said he understands there was supposed to be a meeting Monday with her ex-husband and daughter regarding getting Prince some form of care through social services.

(© 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Bay City News contributed to this report.)

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