Flames engulf four mobile homes; families displaced

Smoke fills the sky above the Grandview Mobile Home Park, located at 425 East 900 South, St. George, Utah | Photo by Aspen Stoddard, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Smoke filled the sky Saturday afternoon above a fire that consumed four mobile homes at Grandview Mobile Home Park in St. George and left several families displaced.

Shortly after 1 p.m., the St. George Communications Center received a report of smoke dispersing from underneath a mobile home at 425 E. 900 South in St. George. By the time St. George  Fire Department’s firefighters responded to the scene, flames had completely engulfed the trailer, St. George Deputy Fire Chief Kevin Taylor said.

All occupants of the mobile homes immediately surrounding the initial trailer fire were evacuated. Wind, heat and the closeness of the structures in this area created further challenges for firefighters attempting to extinguish the fire, Taylor said.

A fire blazes near Dixie High School, St. George, Utah, July 19, 2014 | Photo courtesy of Melinda Charlet, St. George News
A fire blazes near Dixie High School, St. George, Utah, July 19, 2014 | Photo courtesy of Melinda Charlet, St. George News

Dean Ford, of Hurricane, said he was on a walk with his two young daughters when he he saw smoke.

“We started walking over to see what was going on and then we heard three big explosions,” Ford said. “‘Blam, blam, blam.'”

The explosions heard by Ford and others at the scene were most likely caused by aerosol cans, small propane tanks or inflated tires, Taylor said. Those are the three most common causes of such explosions during a structure fire.

Joshua Grenville, 19, lived with his girlfriend, her little brother, her parents and a small dog in the mobile home located directly east of the first trailer that caught fire. Theirs was the second home to succumb to the flames. Grenville said his girlfriend’s little brother came running into the living room yelling that there was a fire next door.

Smoke fills the sky above the Grandview Mobile Home Park, located at 425 East 900 South, St. George, Utah | Photo by Aspen Stoddard, St. George News
Smoke fills the sky above the Grandview Mobile Home Park, located at 425 East 900 South, St. George, Utah | Photo by Aspen Stoddard, St. George News

“I ran out and grabbed the hose to see if I could try to prevent some of it spreading,” Grenville said. “But the police told me to back away. We just stood here waiting for our home to catch on fire. I want to cry. I’m angry. Family photos, my bed, clothes. It’s all gone up in smoke.”

Everyone in the trailer, including the dog, was evacuated safely.

The fire continued to spread to two other adjacent mobile homes, each with a shed and vegetation that also burned. Four homes and four sheds were engulfed in all. Mobile homes are particularly vulnerable to fire, Taylor said, especially when they’ve been added onto.

“This fire had a significant impact because we had so many families affected,” Taylor said. “On a calm day, the fire is usually confined to one structure, but wind spreads it horizontally.”

Smoke fills the sky above the Grandview Mobile Home Park, located at 425 East 900 South, St. George, Utah | Photo by Aspen Stoddard, St. George News
Smoke fills the sky above the Grandview Mobile Home Park, located at 425 East 900 South, St. George, Utah | Photo by Aspen Stoddard, St. George News

Two aerial ladders and six fire engines were utilized. Washington City Fire Department and Santa Clara Fire Department assisted St. George Fire Department, and St. George Police Department assisted with traffic control, evacuation and securing the scene.

The fire was confirmed extinguished after about three hours of defense fighting. At the time of this report’s publication, there have been no reported injuries. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

This is the third fire to occur in Grandview Mobile Home Park within the past year, but Taylor said the three fires are unconnected.

The Red Cross opened a reception center at the St. George Recreation Center, 285 S. 400 East, and invites anyone affected by the fire to come there. The center will remain open until everyone’s needs are met, Disaster Relief Manager Paul Dunsdon said.

Anyone desiring to make a donation to help the affected families is asked to call 435-879-9033.

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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2014, all rights reserved.

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8 Comments

  • My Evil Twin July 19, 2014 at 7:25 pm

    My heart goes out to these displaced families. Obviously, they are not well off financially, or they would not be living there.
    Has anyone, or any organization, set up a funding program for these folks?

    • Cami Cox Jim Cami Cox Jim July 19, 2014 at 11:56 pm

      Yes. If you look at the end of the article, donations are being accepted to help the families.

      • My Evil Twin July 20, 2014 at 11:58 am

        My bad, thank you.

  • St. George Resident July 20, 2014 at 2:37 am

    Hey author, a mobile home is a manufactured home. It is not the same thing as a “trailer”.

    • Bo July 20, 2014 at 10:51 am

      But they’re called “Trailer Parks”

      • St. George Resident July 20, 2014 at 5:24 pm

        Mobile Home Parks or Manufactured Home Communities are only called “Trailer Parks” by ignorant, prejudiced people who wish to unfairly stigmatize the owners/residents.

    • Me July 20, 2014 at 2:26 pm

      Who cares they need help!!!!!!!

  • IN THE GAME July 20, 2014 at 8:25 pm

    Does anyone know if Bubbles trailer was involved?

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