A late-morning fire consumed a home in the Thompson Crossing mobile home park Wednesday, Dec. 29, just days after the Christmas holidays.
“The entire structure was a total loss by the time we arrived,” said Blackpool Volunteer Fire Rescue fire chief Mike Savage.
The occupants of the home got out safely and unharmed.
It took crews over five hours to put out the blaze, as their equipment froze in the roughly -20-degree weather. Despite the weather, it was business as usual and crews fought through it to control the fire.
“Anytime you get a fire in the -20s, you have factors of freeze up for equipment and extreme cold for the firefighters — not an easy fight,” said Savage.
BFR members were accompanied by two additional firefighters from Clearwater and three firefighters from Little Fort, both with an additional tender truck. Crew members were still thawing and rolling hose at the fire hall the following morning.
The community quickly came together to support the family, who lost everything in the fire. A request for household items, cash donations and clothing was posted on the community Facebook page, to which many people responded.
A GoFundMe fundraiser was also created for the homeowners, and has since raised $665 of its $10,000 goal.
“On Wednesday Dec. 29, Sherry and Greg Traub lost their home to a fire,” the fundraiser reads. “Many local shops have donated whatever they can to help rebuild, but we’ve got quite a ways to go.”
Ron Rotzetter also posted to the community Facebook group that the On Call Services office just south of town is accepting donations for the Traubs as well. The office is opened Monday to Friday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Savage said at this time, it looks like a faulty space heater was the cause of the fire. As temperatures hover around the -20 to -30 degree mark, many homeowners are dealing with cooler homes and frozen pipes. The fire chief recommends when attempting to fix these issues, to do so in pairs.
“The big one for people is if they have frozen pipes, have more than one person assisting them when they’re trying to thaw it out, both inside and out.”