Smoke from a motorhome that caught fire next to Jaylee Mobile Home Park could be seen for kilometres around Port Alberni on Friday afternoon (Dec. 13).
No one was hurt in the blaze, which started with a space heater inside the motorhome, Cherry Creek Volunteer Fire Dept. Chief Lucas Banton said.
Neighbour Lynn Arsenault said she heard a big bang from her mobile home across the street. “I looked out my front window and saw the flames and thought, ‘oh my God,’” she said. “The flames were 20 feet high.
“My neighbour helped move my car; it was right beside (the motorhome).”
The owner, who declined to give his name, stood with a couple of neighbours watching the firefighters put out the last of the flames. His hair was singed from trying to extinguish the fire himself.
The owner had been getting into his car to go out when he saw flames coming from the nearby motorhome. “I ran around to get the hose,” he told Banton.
“They tried to knock it down themselves,” Banton said. The owner called 911 for help.
There were some small bottles of propane in the motorhome that were exploding, but not a big propane tank. “These particular (motorhomes) are dangerous because it’s quite toxic,” Banton said as he ensured people stayed back from the smoke and steam. “They go off quickly. There’s refrigerant and other things harmful for health.
“They are notorious for catching other things on fire.”
When Cherry Creek VFD personnel arrived they quickly doused vehicles and two structures close to the fire before attacking the fire itself, Banton explained.
“The first thing we do is drop water on all the other exposures, then hit the fire.”