Firefighters contain mobile home blaze

Firefighters gather equipment following the Liberty Street fire.

Usually, when firefighters are dispatched to a mobile home fire, hopes of actually saving the fast-burning dwelling are not all that high. Their main points of focus are on making sure no one is still inside the structure and preventing the usually destructive blaze from spreading to adjoining structures.

That wasn’t the case, though, on January 5, when Atmore firemen arrived around 1 p.m. at a single-wide Liberty Street house trailer in which flames were visible inside one of the home’s bedrooms and thick, gray smoke poured from the windows.

AFD personnel were able to contain the fire to the room of its origin after quickly setting up and launching an attack. Firefighters reportedly gained control of the situation within five minutes, used fans to evacuate as much smoke as possible and were back at their station in less than an hour.

“I’ve got a good crew, a real good crew,” Fire Chief Ron Peebles said of the rare mobile home success story. “They do a good job; they’re really on it.”

Peebles said the entire structure sustained “heavy smoke damage,” but the only major fire damage, which he said was also “heavy,” was to the room in which the flames originated.

He reported that an electrical short likely caused the incident. That was also the case in the most recent structure fire — a Union Street blaze — that was fought by the department prior to the Liberty Street incident.

Peebles was pleasantly surprised that neither of those fires was caused by a source of interior heat, especially since they came in the midst of a several-days period during which overnight low temperatures fell into the 20-degree range and daytime highs were not able to climb much above the freezing mark.
That is an indication that residents are apparently more diligently practicing fire safety in their homes, he said.

“That’s the second in a row that was electrical instead of from a heat source, like a heater or fireplace, and I’m proud of that,” pointed out the fire chief. “You’d think that with the cold weather, we’d have had one from a heat source. But I’m happy that it hasn’t happened, knock on wood.”

Peebles added that there were no injuries — to the mobile home’s occupants or firefighters.