Christmas fire claims life in Caledonia
Tuesday, December 31, 2013 5:33 AM
A fire at a mobile home park in Caledonia took the life of an area woman on Christmas morning.
Caledonia Fire Chief Chuck Gavin told the Herald that two trailers were destroyed. "We got the call at 1:06 of the morning of the 25th, and we were on-scene at 1:12," he said.
"The largest fire was in the first trailer, and the wind had pushed it over and caught the second trailer. Flames were coming out the windows of that one when we arrived."
Neighbors had been able to alert the occupants of the second trailer, who were successful in fleeing from the blaze. Tragically, an unidentified female perished in the trailer where the fire began.
Gavin identified the survivors as two males and their dogs. "There was an adult female in the first trailer," he confirmed. "We called the fire marshal and the coroner after we located her.
The incident occurred at the Eastside Mobile Home Park, in the 300 block of Eastside Lane.
"There is an ongoing investigation as far as appliances, heating pads, or blankets... We don't really have a positive cause at this time," Gavin reported.
Twenty-six volunteer firemen fought to contain the fire, staying on-scene for five hours.
"It's hard on everybody," Gavin noted. "We feel for the family. The fire marshal arrived at about 3 a.m. to begin his investigation. Police were there to help with evacuations and traffic.
Both trailers had smoke alarms, which were going off when firefighters arrived.
"By the time a smoke alarm goes off, the time you can safely get yourself out is under three minutes," Gavin said. "So by the time the smoke alarm goes off, you don't have very long at all to get out. By the time you hear a smoke alarm it's well advanced, because the fire loads are so heavy. That's because of the plastics and oils and woods involved. There's just no time."