Goodfield mobile-home fire that killed five was set intentionally, authorities say

2019-04-19 | Journal Star

April 18-- Apr. 18--EUREKA -- A mobile-home fire that killed five people earlier this month near Goodfield was started intentionally, authorities stated.

The deaths are considered homicides. An unidentified juvenile is being questioned.

Woodford County Coroner Tim Ruestman issued his findings Thursday. They were a result of an investigation by his office and other county and state agencies.

The fire April 6 at Timberline Mobile Home Park killed two adults and three children.

Kathryn Murray, 69; Jason Wall, 34; Rose Alwood, 2; Daemeon Wall, 2; and Ariel Wall, 1, died of smoke inhalation, autopsies revealed.

Ariel Wall and Daemeon Wall were children of Jason Wall and Katrina Alwood, who escaped the blaze. So did her 9-year-old son Kyle Alwood.

Jason Wall was Katrina Alwood's fiance. Rose Alwood was a niece. Murray was Katrina Alwood's grandmother.

Following their escape, Katrina Alwood and Kyle Alwood were transported to a Peoria hospital, where they were treated and released.

Ruestman said he determined his findings through interviews and forensic evidence.

Woodford County State's Attorney Greg Minger said he was awaiting results of final forensic tests before he files charges. Results probably will be available in about two weeks.

"Based on what I've seen in the reports and interviews, eventually there will be some charges (filed)," Minger said. "It takes some time."

Only one person is being considered a suspect, according to Minger.

Neither Minger nor Ruestman said much more. They cited the suspect's age and the ongoing investigation.

Other agencies investigating include the Woodford County Sheriff's Office, the Eureka-Goodfield Fire Protection District, Illinois State Police and the Illinois State Fire Marshal.

The fire at 14 Cypress Court began shortly after 11 p.m. April 6, a Saturday. The trailer was engulfed in flames by the time firefighters arrived a few minutes later.

"A lot of people that were here felt helpless, knowing what was going on, and that they couldn't do anything," said Shawn Johnson, the Timberline manager.

The mobile-home park is just northeast of the village limits of Goodfield. The village of about 1,000 residents is located along Interstate 74 between Peoria and Bloomington-Normal.

Services for the victims were held Wednesday in Goodfield.

Nick Vlahos can be reached at 668-3285 or nvlahos@pjstar.com. Follow him on Twitter @VlahosNick.