Kitchen fire sweeps, destroys trailer in Switzer Village Mobile Home Park

Posted: Sunday, January 20, 2002

Officials are investigating a trailer fire Friday that turned into a $75,000 disaster for the homeowner. No one was injured in the blaze.

Capital City Fire and Rescue responded to Switzer Village Mobile Home Park around 12:30 p.m. to put out a kitchen fire. The fire caused $75,000 in heat, smoke, fire and water damage to the trailer, said volunteer fire chief Max Mielke.

Fire Marshal Randy Waters said he had a good idea of what caused the fire but was still investigating the incident.

Mielke, who was at the scene, said he thought the fire may have been started by a propane kitchen stove.

"The kitchen area was destroyed," said Mielke. "There was also damage to the living room area. The TV and stereo were melted and there was a lot of heat and smoke damage."

Mielke said the trailer's occupant, whose name has not been released, noticed the smoke in her house and ran to a neighbor for help. The neighbor then broke a kitchen window in the trailer and tried to extinguish the growing blaze with a hand-held fire extinguisher, but couldn't put it out, Mielke said.

Two engines, an ambulance and 25 firefighters responded to the scene.

"We got in there and there was zero visibility, a lot of steam and heat," said firefighter Jason Tarver. "We were on our knees trying to feel our way around. There was so much smoke it was like looking through a black wool jacket."

Capt. Lynn Ridle said a roommate of one of the occupants was staying with a neighbor, but he was not sure how many occupants there were in the trailer and who is assisting them with shelter, food and clothing.

Representatives of the Juneau chapter of the Red Cross, which helps people displaced by fires, were unavailable for comment.

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