Sixty-three-year-old Julie Rhea was apparently trapped inside the burning camper, located on property just east of Oelwein on Highway 3. Rhea’s husband called 911 at about 2am Thursday, to report that their camper was on fire, and Julie was still trapped inside.
Oelwein firefighters were able to stop the fire from spreading to a nearby unoccupied farm house and LP tank, but the camper was engulfed by the time crews arrived. Fire crews were also hampered by sub-freezing temperatures. Rhea’s body was found inside and the State Medical Examiner will look into her death. The cause of the fire remains under investigation by the Iowa State Fire Marshal.
(Reporting by Roger King, KOEL, Oelwein)