Motor home bursts into flames in Virgin River Gorge

File Photo January 4, 2016 | St. George News

CEDAR POCKET, Ariz. — A purchase of a used 1982 motor home might not have been the best idea for two California men, as the recreational vehicle burned to the ground after overheating near the Cedar Pocket rest area on Interstate 15 Saturday night.

The two men bought the motor home from a friend in Greeley, Colorado, Beaver Dam Fire Chief Jeff Hunt said, and, while one man was driving the motor home, the other was following in an automobile as the two headed to Lone Pine, California.

About 10:30 p.m., the two were driving on I-15 at about mile marker 18 in Arizona, Hunt said, when the driver of the motor home noticed it was overheating. The driver pulled off the road near the Cedar Pocket rest area, got out of the motor home and opened the hood.

Hunt said the conditions must have been perfect when the air hit a fuel leak on a hot manifold, causing it to burst into flames.

When the men went to call for help, they found they had no cellular service in the Virgin River Gorge. And, by the time they found someone with service to call for help, the motor home was completely engulfed in flames.

The Beaver Dam Fire Department and St. George Fire Department responded to the blaze.

“When we got there, even the sides and roof were burned out,” Hunt said. “I could hear propane tanks venting quite loudly and one of them actually exploded, sending the refrigerator out of the roof toward me.”

The motor home was totally destroyed, Hunt said, adding that no injuries were reported and no brush fires were touched off by the flames.

Hunt said the pair was disheartened by the incident, especially since they had just spent $700 on new tires for the motor home. The two men continued their journey back to California in the automobile.

This report is based on preliminary information provided by law enforcement or other emergency responders and may not contain the full scope of findings.

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2 Comments

  • DB June 8, 2015 at 4:37 pm

    Lawsuit filed against the seller in 3…2…1…

  • RealMcCoy June 8, 2015 at 5:48 pm

    A 1982 motor home, used, from Colorado to California?
    $700 for new tires on top of the purchase price, plus fuel to drive FROM California, then back with both vehicles?
    Fair market value would be be between $1500 and $2500 value.
    It was either in MINT condition (not now, of course), or maybe those camper cushions were packed with something other than foam.
    No way was that an economical or feasible purchase.

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