Mobile Home fire extinguished quickly
Stove top fire in mobile home knocked down before becoming far worse
By Peggy Kelly
Santa Paula News
Published: November 02, 2012
The Santa Paula Fire Department quickly knocked down a stovetop fire in a mobile home that could have been far worse Wednesday afternoon. The October 31 fire was reported at 3:50 p.m. when firefighters were dispatched to 135 N. 13th St., the location of Pepper Tree Park.
According to SP Fire Captain Steve Lazenby, fire units began to arrive on scene three minutes after the fire was reported. The owners were safely outside their home when firefighters from the SPFD and Ventura County fire departments arrived on scene; an additional Ventura engine was dispatched to the city to provide coverage for any additional calls.
On arrival SPFD personnel observed “Fire was present under a small covered patio,” and smoke was also coming from the mobile home itself. Lazenby said upon entry firefighters found an inversion layer of smoke about 2 to 3 feet above the ground. “The fire attack crew was able to look under the smoke directly into the kitchen where the fire was making a run up the wall and into the cabinets located above the stove” as fire was rolling into the living room area.
The fire in the cabinets was knocked down however there was residual fire that had spread to the exterior of the mobile home where it ignited a vacuum cleaner, various boxes and other items. The fire had burned through the interior wall and melted the exterior siding and caught the contents of the porch on fire.
Lazenby said this fire was also knocked down and the firefighting team checked for extensions. Fire damage was heavy in the kitchen area and firefighters removed the stove, burned kitchen supplies and cabinets as well as the interior and exterior wall material removed during the overhaul and investigation.
Upon examining the stove prior to removal, firefighters noted that a burner was turned to the “On” position and there was griddle on the burner that was very hot. There were no signs of electrical problems that could have caused the fire, and the most damage and pattern of the flames led up from the stove top towards the kitchen cabinets above.
Lazenby said the incident could have been much, much worse: “Mobile homes are among the most dangerous of fires,” due to the speed of the burn and the close proximity to other units that can spread the blaze. The fire, he added, was declared knocked down at 4:03 p.m., a little more than 10 minutes after it was reported.
Damage was confined to the kitchen and the exterior wall behind the stove, and the loss to the property is estimated to be $9,000. City Building and Safety personnel tagged the mobile home for limited occupancy, and as of Thursday repairs had already begun.