Two mobile homes were gutted in separate fires Tuesday. No one was injured in either blaze.
Max Mielke, volunteer fire chief for the Glacier District of Capital City Fire & Rescue, said the department was called about 11:45 a.m. to a fire at 181 Switzer Village Mobile Home Park.
Firefighters arrived to find smoke and flames in the front part of the trailer, which was owned by Payman Hakimi. It took about 10 minutes to put out the blaze, which appeared to have started in the kitchen. No one was home at the time.
Mielke estimated damage at $60,000. ``It's pretty much a total loss,'' he said.
Hakimi said he left his home at about 8:20 a.m. ``At noon they called me, I went over there and saw everything was gone,'' he said.
Hakimi did have insurance, but said he's not sure if it will cover his loss.
``I only have insurance for $20,000,'' he said. He's staying in a motel until he can find another place to live. He's looking for a one-bedroom home, he said.
About 12:30 p.m., Mielke said, firefighters received a call to another fire, this time at No. 31 Glacier View Mobile Home Park, which is off Stephen Richards Memorial Drive.
It was ``fully involved'' in fire when firefighters arrived, Mielke said. ``We even had flames coming out underneath the structure.''
Owner James Montoure said he was finishing up some improvements in the trailer in preparation for renting it out to new tenants. He had turned on the furnace and gone into another room when the smoke alarm went off.
He came back to find fire shooting out the door of the furnace, he said. He tried to put it out with fire extinguishers, and when that didn't work, he and another worker left and called the fire department.
``It's scary, I'll tell you, how fast that thing went,'' he said.
Mielke estimated damages to that home at $30,000 to $40,000, less than the other home because there were no belongings in it. It was also a total loss, he said.
Montoure didn't have insurance on the trailer, but said he'd had it 12 years and it had more than paid for itself. He's just glad the furnace problem surfaced before the new renters moved in.
``They were going to start moving in that afternoon,'' he said. ``It's just so lucky. I thank God it went when it did.''
It was a nice trailer, Montoure said. ``I just put another bathroom in it ... never even got to flush the toilet. Anyway, that's the way it is.''
Montoure, who lives in another mobile home at Glacier View, said he turned off his furnace when it kicked on last night. ``I just was paranoid,'' he said.
Fire Marshal Randy Waters confirmed the furnace was the cause of the Glacier View fire. He was still investigating the cause of the Switzer fire this morning, but said it also was clearly accidental.
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