Tuesday, February 15, 2005
No one was at home when a manufactured home located at 402 West Maple Ave., #66, in the Sun Valley Mobile Home Park caught fire late Monday morning. Sunnyside fire officials are a bit baffled at the cause of the fire, but, according to Fire Chief Aaron Markham, the cause is believed to be linked to a faulty lamp in one of the bedrooms.
"There was a free standing lamp in the room. That's the only electrical source in the room that produced any heat," said Markham.
He added that they know the breaker in the bedroom tripped so they know there was an electrical problem.
"The lamp was pretty much the only source we could narrow it to," said Markham.
The family living in the home told fire officials the lamp wasn't working, but Markham said there could have been a short in the lamp or it could have been knocked over and started working. He added that the lamp was plugged into an outlet that was controlled by a light switch.
The family living in the home had been gone for about two hours, so Markham has ruled out an open flame. He added there is no evidence at the scene to show proof that an open flame caused the fire.
"We're thinking something occurred with the lamp," said Markham.
He added that the fire started on the side of the bed the lamp was on.
The fire caused an estimated $30,000 damage to the home, which is valued at $60,000. Markham said he doesn't believe the house sustained any structural damage, but that the owners will have to replace a lot of sheetrock. The contents of the home that were destroyed are valued at about $15,000.
Markham said half of the door to the bedroom where the fire started burned away, allowing smoke and heat into the rest of the home.
Markham said the main living area of the home sustained heavy smoke and heat damage, but the other bedroom doors were shut so very little smoke entered the rooms.
The family living in the home were not the owners, according to Markham, who said Hilda Barron owns the house. The six people who were living in the house are being assisted by the Red Cross.