Fire destroys mobile home, birding equipment

A Monday morning fire gutted a mobile home rented by bird watchers, destroying some of their equipment.
Melissa Topey
May 18, 2010

 

A Monday morning fire gutted a mobile home rented by bird watchers, destroying some of their equipment.

Owner Hugh Rose had just purchased the mobile home about a month ago in the Inland Marina & Mobile Home Park. He rented the home to a bird-watching group in the area for "The Biggest Week in American Birding," an 11-day event that brings bird enthusiasts together for the peak spring warbler bird migration.

Rose, standing outside the charred remains of the home, said the group was at Cedar Point when the blaze broke out just before noon.

He said the event ended Sunday, and he thought the group planned to leave today.

The trailer, which firefighters have deemed a total loss, was not insured and Rose valued it at $5,000 to $6,000. He hadn't yet had time to place skirting along the bottom of the mobile home.

John Brough, fire chief for the Carrol Township volunteer fire department, said the cause of the fire is under investigation but it appeared to have started in the middle of the trailer. The back half of the trailer was engulfed when firefighters arrived.

Firefighters had it under control within eight minutes, he said. They found remains of tripods and cameras inside the trailer, as well as some furniture.

Neighbor Robert Keech sat out in his car talking with neighbors as firefighters walked around the shell of the trailer, some of them rolling up hoses.

He said he was coming home from shopping in Oregon when he saw the smoke.

"I thought it was over my trailer," Keech said.

The fire melted the siding on his shed. The roof will probably need to be replaced.