Identification released of infant, sibling, mother who died in a Lexington mobile home fire

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LEXINGTON, Ill. (WMBD) — A mother and her two children died during a house fire in Westwind Estates in rural Lexington.

The woman has been identified as Hillery R. Peters, 27, and her two children Emerlyn G. Bennett, 3, and Sawyer J. Bennett , 16 months.

The McLean County Sheriff’s Department stated Sawyer was taken to OSF St. Josephs Medical Center where he was pronounced dead, while both both Hillery and Emerlyn died at the scene.

The report from the McLean County Coroner’s office states preliminary autopsy opinions indicate all three died from carbon monoxide intoxication due to inhalation of smoke and soot.

Just after 3:30 a.m. Saturday, fire departments from the surrounding area including Lexington, Chenoa, Towanda and Normal responded to 25083 N. Main St. for reports of a structure fire.

Charred wood and burnt debris were all that remained of the family’s Westwind Estates mobile home Saturday morning.

Neighbors, like Kenyatta Smith, described the sight of waking up in the early morning to flames and the smell of smoke.

“It’s just really sad and tragic,” Smith said. “It [the fire] started it seemed like on the car and the SUV and it seemed to spread to the house.”

Smith said she noticed first responders arriving quickly to the scene.

“It’s just really sad and tragic,” Smith said. “I pray for the family and give thank yous to the firemen and first responders that came out.”

“By the time we arrived on scene we were far behind the fire and we were unable to successfully remove all of the occupants so we had three fatalities,” Eric Heuer, captain of the Lexington Fire Department, said.

Captain Heuer said they were able to get the fire under control after about 15 minutes.

Smith said, being a mother herself, this tragedy struck a patriculaly sensitive chord with her.

“Just knowing that she was a mom that’s what you know hit home for me because that’s scary,” Smith said.

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