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Fire Destroys Mobile Home

By Staff | Jan 27, 2010

Firefighers respond to a blaze on Wood Street in New Martinsville Jan. 20. The mobile home is considered a total loss. (Photo by Amy Witschey)

New Martinsville fiirefighters rescued a man from his burning house trailer Jan. 20 at 617 1/2 Wood Street, New Martinsville.

The handicapped male occupant was assisted from the mobile home, under his own power, to safety by firefighters and was taken to Wetzel County Hospital, by Wetzel County EMS, where he was evaluated for “non-life-threatening” ailments according to New Martinsville Fire Chief Larry Couch.

The call came into the Wetzel County 911 Center shortly before 10:30 p.m. with the first fire units arriving on the scene within seven minutes.

When the occupants called 911 they reported the fire as being out and that they simply wanted someone to check it for them.

When fire fighters arrived they found the home full of smoke, occupants still in the structure, and as they began to check the home they found a quickly growing fire in a bedroom and a neighboring laundry/bathroom.

Fire damage was confined to both the bedroom and laundry/bathroom but there was extensive smoke damage and moderate water damage in much of the remainder of the home. Smoke detectors in the home failed to activate as a result of the batteries being removed from the detector for some other apparent use.

“If the occupants would have been asleep when this fire occurred, they likely would have likely had great difficulty escaping safely because of the inability of the smoke detector to alert them to the rapidly growing fire, a bolted exit door at the rear of the trailer, and a heavy fire load in the home,” Couch said.

The origin of the fire appeared to be the area behind the dryer.It appeared that the fire burned through the wall into the bedroom and that the occupants did not realize there was a fire in the laundry/bathroom until well after they had extinguished the fire in the bedroom. They also delayed their call to 911 until after they had extinguished the fire in the bedroom, Couch said.

The fire has displaced the five-adult occupants and one-infant. Temporary housing was being provided by the Ministerial Association and the American Red Cross. The mobile home was a rental property owned by Jessie Thompson of New Martinsville.The mobile home is considered to have been a total loss and damage to the contents was set at $7,000.

New Martinsville firefighters were assisted at the scene by the New Martinsville Police Department, Paden City Volunteer Fire Company, New Martinsville Municipal Electric, Mountaineer Gas, and Wetzel County EMS. Firefighters remained on the scene until approximately 12:30 a.m.