Fire destroys two mobile homes in Urbana trailer park

URBANA--A fire at an Urbana trailer park Tuesday afternoon leaves two mobile homes in ruins, but people in the community are thankful the damage was not worse.

Jeffrey Scott did not know what to expect as he drove toward the billowing cloud of smoke.

“I came and I saw some people from our church standing outside and their house wasn't affected,” said Scott, the pastor at Iglesia Vida Apostolica in Champaign. “But the other people from our church, their house was pretty engulfed in flames when I arrived.”

The pastor was called to Toni Lane Tuesday, after learning that the mobile home of a family from his church was on fire.

The brother and sister inside initially tried to fight the flames themselves, but as they got bigger, emergency responders were called and the pair escaped unharmed.

The house next door, however, did not.

“The trailer at 15 actually partly caught on fire because the wind was blowing in that direction,” said Dan Smith, Edge-Scott Fire Chief. “So when it penetrated the walls from 16 it spread over into 15.”

Six crews responded to the scene, but they ran short on resources early on.

“The other problem that we have is, as you can tell, limited water supply in the trailer park,” said Smith.

“She was praying that there would be rain,” said Scott.

And then there was.

“Believe it or not, roofs are designed to keep water out and since most of the fire was under the roof the only thing it did was cool some of my people down and get me soaking wet,” said Smith. “As far as help or hinder, neither one, the guys just did their job.”

Even though the two trailers are a total loss, they were able to keep the fire from spreading further.

Now, Scott says it’s time for the rest of the residents to do their job.

“They need to have smoke detectors,” said Scott. “In this case, everybody was asleep, and by the grace of God they're still here.”

At first glance, Smith estimated the damages will add up to about $70,000, but won’t have a final number until investigators take a closer look. While they do that, they will continue to search for the source of the fire, which remains under investigation.
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