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Accidental Fire Heavily Damages Botsford Mobile Home



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Accidental Fire Heavily Damages Botsford Mobile Home

By Andrew Gorosko

An equipment malfunction on the evening of Monday, January 2, caused an accidental fire in a dwelling at the Newtown Village Mobile Home Park at 301 South Main Street (Route 25) in Botsford, which heavily damaged the structure that was unoccupied when the blaze occurred, fire officials said.

Deputy Fire Marshal Rich Frampton, who investigated the fire, said that some type of equipment malfunction in the utility room of Unit 23 caused the accidental blaze. The fire may have started due to a problem with an electrical panel or a problem with an electric water heater, he said.

The 600-square-foot mobile home, which was built in 1972, is the dwelling of Susan and Larry Bailey, who were not at home when the fire occurred, Mr Frampton said. The couple is staying elsewhere after the fire.

There were no injuries in the blaze. A damage estimate was not available.

A neighbor of the Baileys saw some smoke coming out of Unit 23 and reported the fire, the deputy fire marshal said.

Complicating the situation was the fire’s proximity to two residential propane storage tanks, which firefighters worked to prevent from catching fire and exploding.

Botsford, Hook & Ladder, Sandy Hook, Dodgingtown, Hawleyville, and Monroe firefighters responded to the blaze.

Mr Frampton said firefighters prevented the blaze from spreading to other mobile homes, which are positioned very close to one another in the complex. It would have been a much worse situation had other nearby mobile homes ignited, he added.

The deputy fire marshal noted that the Baileys had recently renovated the mobile home, which sustained heavy damage. In addition to the structural damage, most of the dwelling’s contents were destroyed, Mr Frampton said.

Botsford Fire Chief Wayne Ciaccia said of firefighters’ swift efforts to halt the blaze, “It went about as good as it could have.”

On quickly arriving at the densely-built complex, firefighters saw that the rear section of Unit 23 was afire, he said. Those flames were near the two propane tanks that were full of the compressed gas, he noted.

“We just went right after the fire,” Chief Ciaccia said of firefighters’ need to quickly extinguish the blaze before it could spread to nearby dwellings, he said.

“We did not know if there were people in the [burning] house,” he added.

Chief Ciaccia estimated that about 30 firefighters responded to the scene.

He noted that because there is so little space within the mobile home park to maneuver fire vehicles, firefighters must decide which fire vehicles will be needed before they drive into such a complex when responding to such calls.

After they arrived, firefighters had the residents of nearby mobile homes leave their dwellings while firefighting was underway, he said.

The bulk of the flames were extinguished within five minutes of firefighters’ arrival, Chief Ciaccia said.

“We’re just lucky we got there as quickly as we did,” he said. Otherwise, there would have been much more damage, he added. The complex contains several dozen closely spaced mobile homes.

The Botsford firehouse property lies about 100 feet away from the mobile home park along their South Main Street road frontages.

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