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Oregon 5th-Wheel Fire Raises Safety Concerns

April 27, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

Click here to watch a video, courtesy of KTVZ-TV, about the following story.

A devastating fire devoured the inside of a La Pine, Ore., family’s fifth-wheel trailer Easter morning. The flames took most all of their possessions, but thankfully, not their lives KTVZ-TV, Redmond, reported.

“A fire of this size still put a lot of soot and smoke into the trailer, and while it’s only a small space, people get very disoriented,” La Pine Assistant Fire Chief Dan Daugherty said Tuesday.

As the smoke billowed through the trailer at 4 a.m., Sunday, Lisa Choate’s 12-year-old daughter got everyone out. Fire officials said with no smoke detector, the Choate family is lucky to be alive. Officials blame faulty wiring for the blaze.

“The wiring is completely different in a trailer, compared to a residential structure,” Daugherty said. “The residential structure is designed for those larger loads, the electrical loads.”

Which means there’s certain rules for daily life when you live in a RV.

“If you’re going to watch TV great, if you’re going to run the heater great, but don’t run it all at once,” said Whispering Winds resident Ryan Powers.

William Killinger lives next to where the Choate family’s trailer burned. His biggest fear is a propane leak will destroy his home, so every night, he shuts off his propane.

“All you do is just turn it off, all the way until it closes, until it’s really tight,” Killinger said. “Then you go in and open your stove so there’s no smell coming out, then the line is empty.”

But firefighters said having propane tanks as close to a trailer as Killinger does is an obvious danger. So are frayed wires and overloaded circuits.

So as long as those hazards are around, it’s best to “at least have one smoke detector and one working fire extinguisher,” Daugherty said. “If anything else will save a life, those will.”

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4 Burned in RV Fire at Oregon Wal-Mart

September 13, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Four people were rushed to the hospital Saturday night (Sept. 11) when a Class A motorhome caught fire outside a North Eugene, Ore., Wal-Mart, KEZI-TV, Eugene, reported.

Firefighters got the call around 9 p.m. that a trailer was fully engulfed in a parking lot off of Delta Oaks. Crews say the four people inside were cooking. When they ignited a flame, the entire RV caught on fire. Everyone was able to get out but they all suffered mild burns.

“They purchased the RV and almost immediately started using it. Didn’t have time to really work out the bugs and that’s mostly what led to this going on,” said Capt. Marcus Lay of the Eugene Fire Department.

Crews say the group told them they had been having problems with the gas system.

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Camper Dies in Oklahoma Fifth-Wheel Fire

August 18, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

Watch today’s Featured Video for KOTV-TV’s telecast of the following story.

A Cherokee County, Okla., man was killed Tuesday morning (Aug. 17) when his RV caught fire near Keys, south of Tahlequah, Okla.

When firefighters arrived just before 5 a.m. Tuesday, the fifth-wheel at the Petit Bay RV park was fully engulfed, KOTV-TV, Tulsa, reported.

“I would say the flames were 20 to 30 feet high.” Bobby Jackson, Keys firefighter, said.

“The back portion, back here was completely gone up to that point,” said Jamie Houston, Keys firefighter.

Firefighters with the Keys volunteer department got the fire under control within minutes, but the fire was so intense, it destroyed the RV and another one next to it.

“There’s nothing to them. They go in a hurry,” Jackson said.

The body of a 55-year-old man was found inside his fifth-wheel in bed. His name is being withheld until relatives can be notified.

“It’s tragic,” Houston said. “I can only imagine what the family must be going through.”

“The people we talked to around here say that he lives here,” Jackson said.

While it’s not clear yet if the fifth-wheel had a working smoke detector, firefighters say the fatal fire is a tragic reminder for RV owners to be safety conscious.

“Anything you do at your house, do it here,” Houston said. “People I think kind of lax off a little bit, but the danger is there unfortunately.”

The fire marshal is working to determine the cause of the fire.

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