HIGH RIDGE, Mo. – The holiday season turned tragic for a Jefferson County family after a fire ripped through a mobile home, killing a person inside.

The fatal fire happened early Monday morning on Ruby Drive in the Country Squire Estates at High Ridge. Police said the victim’s neighbors noticed the house was on fire. They ran to the home and attempted to notify the homeowner.

The neighbors then ran around the home, busting out the windows while they entered the front door. They could only enter a couple of steps because they could not see anything due to the smoke, so they exited the residence.

Once the fire was under control, fire crews located a deceased victim in a chair in the living room.

“It’s just scary that it can happen so quick, in the blink of an eye,” said Mindy Pearson, the victim’s neighbor.

First responders believed the fire started in the back bedroom around 3 a.m.

“Neighbors notice the smoke coming out a couple of the windows,” said Chief John Barton of High Ridge Fire Protection District. “The first neighbor grabbed his cell phone and ran down here and called 911. Then kicked in the door and tried to get inside to see if there was anybody inside. But the smoke and the heat were too much; they had to back out immediately.”

This is not the first fatal fire in this mobile home park community recently. On Oct. 11, a 3-year-old girl died in another mobile home fire on Diamond Drive, which is less than a mile from Monday’s tragedy. A makeshift memorial still stands at Diamond Drive in honor of Kaiden Strubberg.

With the deadly fire happening during the holiday season, residents are trying to come to grips with the tragedy.

“We believe the victim has family that now has to deal with the loss of life during the holiday season,” Barton said. “It’s always difficult, but this particular community had a tough time, this is the second fire that we had in two months.”

Police said the victim was an adult. However, they will not disclose the victim’s identification until Tuesday at the earliest.

The cause of the fire remains unknown. The police do not believe the fire was suspicious.