Tenant loses trailer to fire

Posted: Sunday, April 03, 2005

A fire early Saturday evening consumed the interior of a trailer on Douglas Island, and produced a plume of smoke visible for miles.

Sole tenant Darrel Olson was able to save his cat, trailer owner Bob Clark said.

Olson was taken by ambulance to Bartlett Regional Hospital for observation and was reported in very good condition at 7:30 p.m.

The fire at No. 21 in Waterside Park began at about 5:45 p.m. when a heating company employee was working on the furnace, Clark said.

Olson had called the company when he smelled oil in the trailer, Clark said. The employee pumped out about a gallon of oil from the burner, then tried to burn off the rest, Clark said.

Clark, who was there, said they put out the fire in the burner several times with fire extinguishers, but it kept reigniting.

"Once it's out, that oil tends to flash back up," Fire Marshal Rich Etheridge said.

Clark said he called Capital City Fire and Rescue even before the fire spread to the trailer. But fire was visible in all the windows when firefighters arrived, Etheridge said.

"It's just a trailer home. They go up quick," Clark said.

At 6:15, the interior was still smoking, but most of the exterior was untouched by fire. At 6:40 firefighters were peeling up parts of the metal roof to ventilate the trailer.

Clark said the trailer is insured but probably not to the extent of covering the damage.

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