NFPA Journal - January/February 2013 - (Page 18)
from our files by Ken Tremblay
A man died in an early morning fire when the ceiling of his mobile home collapsed on him. His wife and children escaped unharmed.
Man dies after reentering burning manufactured home
COLORADO—A family of four managed to escape from their burning manufactured home through the back door but could not leave the small fenced yard because the gate was locked. Trying get the key to the gate, the man reentered the house and was just 3 feet (0.9 meters) from the back door when the ceiling collapsed on him. He died as a result of smoke inhalation and burns. The single-story, steel-frame manufactured home, which was 68 feet (20 meters) long and 14 feet (4 meters) wide, had a battery-operated smoke alarm, but the battery had been removed or disconnected. There were no sprinklers. The man was awakened by his 43-year-old wife, who had been awak-
ened by the smell of smoke, and the couple managed to get themselves and their 5-year-old son and 10-year-old daughter out of the house. When the ceiling collapsed, the woman tried to break several windows in the rear of the house to help her husband escape, but the added oxygen only caused the fire to burn more intensely. Eventually, she lifted her children over the fence and jumped over it herself. The fire department received a 911 call at 2:09 p.m., and responding firefighters, who could see the fire’s glow and heavy smoke some distance away, called for additional resources. By the time fire crews arrived four and a half minutes later, the entire dwelling was involved in flames, and the fire was threatening four similar units nearby. Using multiple hose lines, they protected the exposures and tried to rescue the trapped man without success.
Investigators determined that a string of Christmas lights on one end of the home short circuited and arced earlier in the day, overloading the single outlet into which they were plugged. The family left the lights on when they went to bed, and the overloaded wiring eventually ignited exposed paneling. The five manufactured homes sustained combined structural losses of $73,000 and combined damage to their contents estimated at $100,000. This included the complete destruction of the home of origin. The woman suffered burn and smoke inhalation injuries, and two firefighters were injured when they slipped on ice.
Holiday display starts fatal fire
MASSACHUSETTS—An 84-year-old woman died of exposure to heat and smoke when a holiday display on the
Photograph: Jerilee Bennett, The Gazette
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of NFPA Journal - January/February 2013
NFPA Journal - January/february 2013
In a Flash
Rebuilding a Hospital
Prepping for the Worst
Chicago View: A Preview of the 2013 NFPA Conference & Expo
Long Time Coming
NFPA Journal - January/February 2013