Warren firefighters extinguish mid-morning camper fire

Thu, 10/17/2019 - 5:00pm

WARREN — “It was burning in a perfect V-pattern,” said Warren Fire Chief Greg Andrews. 

Warren Fire Department arrived on scene of a “Fifth wheel” camper fire at Sandy Shores Campground after the fire was reported to Knox County Communications Center, Thursday, Oct. 17, at 11 a.m.

When Fire Chief Greg Andrews arrived on scene, the interior refrigerator was very clearly in flames, according to him, and burning its way through to the exterior of the structure.

Though the camper belongs to someone, and had items in it, no one was living in the structure at the time. Andrews believed that the owner may have left for the winter season, but left the power on. The firefighters immediately cut power to the structure upon arrival. 

All types of structure fires come with challenges. In this case, specific construction material added to the dilemma of very confined space. Only two or three firefighters could fit inside the camper at a time. And, camper floors are generally made with “pretty light construction,” said Andrews, “so you have to be careful.”

The exterior walls are made with fiberglass and omit a poisonous gas, he said. 

Yet, due to the small space, the fire remains small, and duration of extinguishment is very short – in this case, about 10-15 minutes. 

More time, however, was spent aiming a thermal imaging camera at every space of material, searching for hot spots.

After a telephone conversation with an investigator from the State Fire Marshal’s Office, Andrews and the investigator determined that the cause of fire was electrical in nature and most likely started with the refrigerator.

 

Prior to the camper fire, Warren firefighters also helped remove five or six trees from roadways after falling and tangling with wires during last night’s nor’easter.  Less than an hour after clearing Sandy Shores, they were in St. George for a large structure fire. At 7:35 p.m., as they were in the process of leaving the St. George fire scene, they were called to provide station coverage  for Waldoboro FD, which was battling another structure fire.

 

Reach Sarah Thompson at news@penbaypilot.com