One dead, three displaced in Audrain County fire

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AUDRAIN COUNTY - An Audrain County woman died in a mobile home fire Thursday morning, according to the Little Dixie Fire Protection District. 

Firefighters responded to the mobile home fire at 6:30 a.m. on Thursday on County Road 355 about a mile north of Mexico. They found Kathy Hendren, 56, dead in the home's kitchen. Officials determined Hendren died of smoke inhalation. 

Chief Kenneth Hoover of the Little Dixie Fire Protection District said firefighters believe the blaze was started by someone smoking in bed. He said Hendren attempted to escape, but was unable to. 

Hoover said Hendren was a friend of the home's owner, Sharon Brower. He said Brower served as Hendren's caretaker.

Hoover said Brower "had been friends with Ms. Hendren for a number of years."

He said Brower was trying to help Hendren through medical issues. 

Hoover said Brower was in the home at the time and was treated and released by medics on scene. He said this is the second time in under a year Brower has lost someone close to a fire. 

Recently Brower's husband died in a garden fire. He was "burning some brush and grass and was overcome by that fire," Hoover said. "So, kind of a tragedy there." 

Hoover said he did not know if any other people were in the home at the time. The American Red Cross said it is aiding three adults displaced in the fire.

(Editor's note: This story has been updated with the latest information)