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Fire destroys Funkstown trailer

March 05, 1998|By BRENDAN KIRBY

by Kevin G. Gilbert / staff photographer

click on images to see enlargements

Funkstown fireFire destroys Funkstown trailer

FUNKSTOWN - Fire engulfed a mobile home Wednesday morning, killing a pet dog and a bird and leaving a family of three homeless.

Evan M. Feiser, 32, rushed from work to the Copper Kettle Trailer Park upon learning of the 11:30 a.m. fire at his home. When he arrived, he found devastation.

"That was my life. Everything I worked for was in here," he said.

Feiser's mother, Sonja, who owns the trailer park near Antietam Creek, said a neighbor knocked on her door to alert her to the blaze.

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"It seemed like forever before the fire trucks came. By then, it was really gone," she said.

Kyd Dieterich, chief of the Funkstown Volunteer Fire Co., said a neighbor ran to the station to report the fire. When firefighters arrived, he said flames were shooting out the back.

"These places go quick," he said.

The home, which was 12 feet by 70 feet with a 10-by-12-foot addition, was destroyed by the blaze.

The fire was caused by an improperly installed electric baseboard heater, according to the state fire marshal's office.

"I should have disconnected that heater. It was too close to the bed," said Sonja Feiser.

Evan Feiser, a single father of two children, said he has lived in the trailer home for about 10 years. It faces Poplar Street, just steps away from his childhood home.

Feiser said his daughter, 10, and 7-year-old son were at school when the fire broke out.

"No one was home but the animals," Sonja Feiser said.

Feiser said the cockatiel, which perished in the blaze, used to greet visitors.

"You walked in the door and it said, 'Hi,'" she said.

Feiser's neighbors, Roderick and Adellia Kelly, also discovered the fire.

Funkstown fireAdellia Kelly said she often went over in the morning to help the children get ready for school since Feiser had to be at work before they left.

Kelly said she went home after sending Feiser's children to school and casually looked out her window.

"I saw the flames coming out of the bedroom," she said.

Sonja Feiser said the fire was the third at the trailer park in the 23 years she has owned it.

One fire started when a cigarette hit a gas tank and the other was caused by a faulty furnace. Feiser said both occurred more than 15 years ago.

As she surveyed the damage, Feiser's thoughts drifted to her grandchildren.

"The kids are going to be crushed," she said.

The American Red Cross has pledged support for the family, whose belongings were not insured.

Funkstown Capt. Steve Schultz said the fire company is accepting donations at its station. He offered the following clothing information:

- Evan Feiser: Size 28-32 pants and medium to large shirt.

- Daughter Sonja: Size 14 pants, size 10-12 shirt and size 2 shoes.

- Son Schoyler: Size 7-8 pants, medium shirt and size 14 shoes.

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