Parowan fire leaves couple counting blessings

PAROWAN – A retired couple who summer at the Foothills RV Subdivision in Parowan are counting their blessings Tuesday after a fire in their mobile home claimed only their kitchen.

Mobile home fire, Foothills RV Subdivision, Parowan, Utah, May 12, 2015 | Photo by Carin Miller, St. George News
Mobile home fire, Foothills RV Subdivision, Parowan, Utah, May 12, 2015 | Photo by Carin Miller, St. George News

At approximately 11:24 a.m., the Parowan Fire Department responded to a report of a fire that had reportedly fully engulfed a mobile home, Firefighter and Training Officer Daniel Stubbs said. When they arrived however, they found the flames were under control.

“We just had to go in and touch up some hot spots and make sure it was all out,” he said.

Typically when firefighters arrive on the scene of a structure that is fully engulfed, Stubbs said they spend their time protecting the structures around the one on fire. In this case, they were able to get straight to work because the homeowner and property manager had turned garden hoses on the flames.

Parowan Fire Department, Parowan Police Department, Brian Head Marshall, Iron County Sheriff Office and Gold Cross all responded to the scene.

Mobile home fire, Foothills RV Subdivision, Parowan, Utah, May 12, 2015 | Photo by Carin Miller, St. George News
Mobile home fire, Foothills RV Subdivision, Parowan, Utah, May 12, 2015 | Photo by Carin Miller, St. George News

Homeowner Janie Ross, who was at the church down the street working with her bible study group, said she had her phone turned off so no one could reach her. A neighbor finally went to the church and told her to hurry home because her trailer was on fire.

Ross and her husband, a Navy veteran, live in Las Vegas during the winter and come to Parowan to escape the unruly heat in the summertime.

All Ross could think of the whole way home was that her husband took naps on the couch and could actually be sleeping in the home, she said. When the fire erupted, however, he was in the pull trailer they had next to their mobile home, prepping it for the arrival of their children who were coming to visit, she said.

“He went over there to lay down the table so we could set it all up, and he was doing that and came out and saw the smoke coming out of the top,” Ross said. “Annabelle, our dog, was in the house, and the first thing he did was let Annabelle out.”

Mobile home fire, Foothills RV Subdivision, Parowan, Utah, May 12, 2015 | Photo by Carin Miller, St. George News
Mobile home fire, Foothills RV Subdivision, Parowan, Utah, May 12, 2015 | Photo by Carin Miller, St. George News

The frightened dog ran down the RV subdivision road heading straight for the highway, she said, but was corralled by neighbors and detained in the dog run at the front of the RV park until they could get the fire under control.

With the high wind speeds and the size of the trailer home, Stubbs said, the Rosses were definitely lucky – it could have wound up a total loss.

“The cross is what gets us through,” Ross said, picking up a charred cross from the floor of her burned home and rubbing her hands across it. She picked up another knick-knack from the floor covered in soot and ash that said “The Lord is our rock and our fortress.”

Despite the fact that the entire ceiling had to be ripped out and the charred remains of the kitchen left most of the space unrecognizable, Ross focused on the positive.

“We are blessed,” she said. “My husband is the most important thing … he would have been sleeping here, and he could have gotten smoke inhalation.”

Homeowner examines the wreckage left behind from her mobile home fire, Foothills RV Subdivision, Parowan, Utah, May 12, 2015 | Photo by Carin Miller, St. George News
Homeowner examines the wreckage left behind from her mobile home fire, Foothills RV Subdivision, Parowan, Utah, May 12, 2015 | Photo by Carin Miller, St. George News

Though the homeowner’s assistance worked out well this time, Stubbs said, he wanted to remind the public not to attempt to fight a fire on their own. It could be dangerous for many reasons.

“When your house is on fire, it’s best for you to not try and put it out,” he said. “There are a lot of dangers and toxins in the smoke you are breathing.”

Parowan is currently looking for volunteers for the fire department, he said. Anyone interested can pick up an application at the Parowan city office.

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Email: cmiller@stgnews.com

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