A recreational vehicle fire in Council Bluffs Monday night claimed the life of an eight-year old girl. The fire occurred in the parking lot of a repair and storage facility on Richland Drive, at around 5:45 P.M.

When firefighters arrived, they found a 35-to 40-foot motor home fully engulfed in flames. It took fire crews only a few minutes to extinguish, but they didn’t know until later that the little girl was inside. The victim was identified as Makala Prudhome.

 Council Bluffs Fire Chief Alan Byers said the girl’s stepfather, who owns the business, was taken to a local hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation. He had reportedly tried to get inside the vehicle, but the smoke was too thick. The man also grabbed a garden hose and tried to fight the fire while the girls’ mother called 911. The mother and stepfather told investigators that the RV was a place the girl could hang out, read and watch TV. Her stepfather had gone outside several times to check on her prior to the blaze, the cause of which remains under investigation.

By Ric Hanson, KJAN, Atlantic