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Deputies: Elderly man, woman killed in mobile home fire in Polk Co., death investigation underway

Posted at 6:18 AM, Mar 29, 2019

BARTOW, Fla. — The Polk County Sheriff's Office is conducting a death investigation after an elderly man and woman were killed in a mobile home fire early Friday morning.

PCSO said they received a 911 call about a mobile home fire on Fighter Road, located behind a home, at 3:48 a.m.

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Joan Koch, 81, has been identified as one of the victims. She rented a room in the mobile home. The other victim has been identified as 72-year-old Bernard Johns.

Robert Rogers, 50, also lived in the mobile home, but was able to escape uninjured after hearing a noise and smelling smoke. Authorities say the three people lived together, but are not related to each other.

During a news conference, Sheriff Grady Judd said that upon arrival deputies found the mobile home "totally engulfed in flames."

Judd said they learned that three people, who are not related, rented out the mobile home together.

"This is preliminary information but from what he (the 50-year-old man) told us is that he was asleep in his room when he heard a thud or a noise that woke him up," Sheriff Judd said. "When he woke up he saw that his room was consumed with smoke and he ran out of the mobile home."

The State Fire Marshall's Office is conducting a fire investigation while the Polk County Sheriff's office conducts a death investigation. Authorities say autopsies will be conducted to determine the victims' exact causes of death.

WATCH: Sheriff Grady Judd provides info on fatal mobile home fire

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