POCATELLO — A Thursday morning fire that destroyed a trailer home on South Fifth Avenue and caused significant damage to the adjacent trailer was reportedly caused by the owner burning garbage in his yard.
Karen Aguilar, chief of the Pocatello Valley Volunteer Fire Department, said the fire was reported at 9:20 a.m. at the Rocking R Mobile Home Park, 4920 S. Fifth Ave. Nobody was injured.
Aguilar said Unit 9, where the fire started, is a total loss. She believes the owner did not have his home and belongings insured.
“He lost everything except for his Jeep and what he was wearing,” Aguilar said.
She said flames spread to Unit 11 next door and burnt a hole in the adjacent wall. She said that mobile home may be salvageable.
“It will be up to them to decide if it’s repairable,” Aguilar said.
Aguilar said the owner of Unit 9 acknowledged he had been burning garbage, and the fire apparently ignited a tarp covering a motorcycle next to the home before spreading to the siding.
Aguilar said burning trash is prohibited, and residents are required to obtain a burn permit to burn any yard debris, except for small, recreational fires.
“One bad decision led to a disaster,” Aguilar said.
Aguilar said the residents of Unit 11 were allowed brief access to their home to get a few belongings, and they were searching for their cats, which were apparently outside of the home.
Aguilar said it took about 45 minutes to get the fire knocked down.
“The biggest problem we encountered was there were no fire hydrants in the trailer park,” Aguilar said.
Firefighters had to shut down South Fifth Avenue from the entrance of the trailer park to South Valley Road for about an hour while hoses were connected to a hydrant across the street, she said.
Aguilar said the Red Cross will contact residents from both trailer homes to inquire about assistance needs.
The Pocatello Fire Department assisted in the call, and officials from Idaho Power and Intermountain Gas were also at the scene.