Severity of injuries, nature of fire result in large response to hectic scene at mobile home park

Firefighters respond to structure fire at mobile home park off of Dixie Downs Road, St. George, Utah, July 26, 2018 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Firefighters discovered an unconscious woman in a back bedroom after they were called to a fire that broke out inside a mobile home Wednesday night.

Firefighters were dispatched to a structure fire at a mobile home park on 1575 North off Dixie Downs Road after neighbors called 911 to report smoke and flames coming from a mobile home, St. George Fire Chief Robert Stoker said.

Firefighters, police and the state fire marshal respond to structure fire at mobile home park off of Dixie Downs Road, St. George, Utah, July 26, 2018 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

Upon arrival, firefighters saw heavy smoke and flames coming from the side and rear of the trailer. After getting no response when they knocked on the front door, Stoker said they entered the residence quickly and located a woman who was unconscious and unresponsive. She was loaded into an ambulance and transported to Dixie Regional Medical Center in “critical, and possibly life threatening condition” while fire crews tacked the blaze.

The blaze was extinguished within minutes, and fire crews remained at the scene to check for any hot spots that could reignite at a later time. Police officers and fire officials joined Stoker in an inspection of the residence once it was safe to enter.

The joint inspection and investigation is typically requested under certain circumstances, Stoker said, and provides more than one perspective at the scene which helps to determine the possible cause of the fire.

“We have called in an investigator from the state fire marshal’s office and St. George Police detectives to assist in the investigation due to the severity of the injuries,” Stoker said. “They bring a lot of experience to the scene give us another set of eyes to work with.”

Fire Marshal Todd Hohbein was dispatched to the scene and told St. George News Thursday morning that the fire started from unnecessary pressure being placed on an outlet in the bedroom, as well as the electrical cords connected to it. That pressure caused friction, which in turn created heat and eventually caught fire.

Mobile home is taped off during investigation into structure fire at a mobile home park off of Dixie Downs Road, St. George, Utah, July 26, 2018 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

Hohbein added that particularly in older homes or structures, the risk of having an electrical fire caused by either an overburdened outlet or pressure on the outlet tends to be higher and is one of the hidden dangers that many may not be aware of. He cautioned to use extra care when connecting more than two electrical devices to the same outlet, either directly or by using an extension cord.

“It’s really hard to know when these outlets become heated up, particularly when they are behind furniture or are blocked from view,” he said.

Kenton Brower, part of the American Red Cross disaster action team, responded to the scene to help with immediate, short-term disaster relief services, which is standard when a fire or other disaster displaces a family or individual.

Working from donations, Brower said the agency can provide shelter, food, clothing and other relief to “take care of the initial shock, to make sure the last thing you’re thinking about is where you’re going to sleep that night.”

The rear section of the mobile home was destroyed by the blaze, while the rest of the residence sustained extensive smoke damage. As of Thursday morning, St. George Police Officer Tiffany Atkin said the homeowner remains in the hospital “sedated and in critical condition.”

This is the second mobile home fire since Wednesday, when a welding torch ignited a blaze that spread to the crawlspace located underneath the residence.

Read more: Firefighters work in triple-digit temperatures after welding torch ignites mobile home fire 

No injuries to firefighters or neighbors were reported.

The St. George Fire Department responded with five engines, a squad truck and a ladder truck, and were assisted by Gold Cross Ambulance, St. George Police Department and the State Fire Marshal’s Office that responded and tended to the scene.

This report is based on statements from police or other responders and may not contain the full scope of findings. 

 

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Email: cblowers@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

 

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10 Comments

  • JOSH DALTON July 26, 2018 at 12:07 pm

    I have been waiting all morning for this story! Its about time! I could not even walk down this street last night. I did not even realize The STG had so many fire trucks. I started taking it serious when the sirens lasted about 10min and I could smell smoke. I first attempted to driver over, being I only live 2 streets over. the cops stopped me. Then I cut through the alley, and was met with resistance. I never made it close enough to see what happened. I was bummed. Thanks for the story.
    GO FALCONS!

    • Redbud July 26, 2018 at 3:54 pm

      Yes because that’s exactly what the fire department needs during an emergency, are extra cars/people/gawkers in the way.

    • mesaman July 26, 2018 at 8:19 pm

      You should be charged with intent to gawk. GO JAZZ!

  • Real Life July 26, 2018 at 2:37 pm

    This story leaves more questions than answers. The author is right about one thing, sounds like a hectic scene.

  • comments July 26, 2018 at 8:21 pm

    “Fire Marshal Todd Hohbein was dispatched to the scene and told St. George News Thursday morning that the fire started from unnecessary pressure being placed on an outlet in the bedroom, as well as the electrical cords connected to it. That pressure caused friction, which in turn created heat and eventually caught fire.”

    Since this isn’t an actual quote I’m guessing reporter might have misunderstood what he was saying. It really makes no sense. Pressure and friction caused heat that started the fire? I think not.

    • comments July 26, 2018 at 8:23 pm

      If it is what the fire marshal said I think he might need to go back to “fire marshal school”. It sounds insane. LOL 😉

  • Josh July 27, 2018 at 7:52 pm

    This was my aunts house , its a very sad and tragic situation that affected very wonderful people love you . And you will be tragically missed

    • Charity July 27, 2018 at 10:16 pm

      My boyfriend helped put the fire out, we’ve been waiting to hear how she is. Did she pass away?

  • Travis July 29, 2018 at 4:20 am

    “heavy smoke and flames coming from the side and rear of the trailer. After getting no response when they knocked on the front door”. They knocked? Seriously?

  • Sandee August 2, 2018 at 2:15 am

    And a big Thanks to all the Emergency Responders, my mother’s house fire must have caught you on your lunch break, because it took an awful long time for you to decide she needed to be rescued, and when you finally made that decision it still took longer than 5 minutes to get her out. Let’s not forget how you dropped her on her face as you “rescued her “. Maybe if she was alive I could be grateful, not remembering the last couple very sadly awkward minutes of chaos, and you dropping her on her face.

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