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Article updated: 3/8/2013 7:57 PM

1 found dead in fire at Elgin mobile home park

By Elena Ferrarin

A 36-year-old man was found dead inside a home early Friday morning after a fire in a mobile home park on Elgin's west side.

Brendan Gallaghan was found dead after firefighters responded at 3:06 a.m. Friday to a fire on lot 12 on the northeast end of Bueche's Mobile Home Park at 909 S. McLean Blvd., Elgin Fire Department Assistant Chief Dave Schmidt said.

When firefighters arrived, the home was engulfed and the fire had spread to a nearby home. Both blazes were under control in about 45 minutes, Schmidt said. There were no injuries to emergency responders.

Neighbor Akiel Davis said he was at his computer when he heard a series of loud noises and looked out the window to see flames shooting out of the home next door.

"I ran up to the house, but the flames got so bad that it threw me down on my back," he said. " ... It was so crazy how it happened, just like that."

Schmidt said the heat of the fire was so intense that it ignited some papers and objects in a home next door; the resident wasn't home at the time, he said.

"It was the oddest thing I've ever seen," Schmidt said. "Usually when you have this intense of a fire there is damage, but nothing was discolored, the glass didn't crack. But you looked through the window, and you saw papers on the fire."

Investigators -- including Elgin fire and police, the Illinois State Fire Marshal's Office and the Kane County coroner -- are working to find the cause of the fire, Schmidt said. An autopsy to determine Gallaghan's cause of death will take place sometime next week, he said.

Fire officials had to break the window of the second home to the extinguish the fire, he said.

There was about $70,000 in damages to the first home and $5,000 to the second home, officials said.

Daily Herald staff photographer Rick West contributed to this story.

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