Family of four displaced by fire in Southhampton Township

January 17, 2008|By DON AINES

SHIPPENSBURG, Pa. - A Southampton Township family of four was left homeless Wednesday morning when their rented mobile home was destroyed by a fire that started in a bedroom.

"I really don't know what happened. We were sitting there watching TV when I smelled smoke," said Kim Bowers, of 2350 Lindsay Lot Road. When she went to the bedroom, she said, "the whole middle of my bed was on fire."

Bowers got her children, Dominic, 3, and 7-month-old Bryleigh, out of the mobile home and went to her landlord's home two houses down the street. No one had been in the bedroom immediately before the fire, she said.

"By the time I got out and went up to her house, there was smoke everywhere," Bowers said.

David Cooley said he came home from work after hearing of the fire. The family had lived in the house since April and their belongings were not insured, he said.


The Cumberland County Red Cross, which also serves the Shippensburg area in Franklin County, was going to put the family up in a hotel and provide them with money to buy food, clothing and baby supplies, said Karen Miller, a senior services coordinator for the Red Cross.

"The back of the trailer was fully involved when we arrived," West End Fire & Rescue Chief Randy O'Donnell said. The fire was called in at about 9:45 a.m., the first units arrived within about five to seven minutes, and it took about 15 minutes to bring under control, he said.

Pennsylvania State Police Fire Marshal Jeffrey Sarver investigated at the scene Wednesday afternoon, O'Donnell said. Sarver had not determined the cause of the fire, but will likely rule it accidental, O'Donnell said.

The heat from the blaze left one end of the mobile home gutted and damage to the rest of the structure was enough to make it a total loss, O'Donnell said. The heat from the fire melted the vinyl siding off the end of the house next door.

Stacy Yurko, the Red Cross Emergency Services director, handed Bowers small packets of a special detergent to wash what smoke- and ash-soiled clothes the family might save from the house. Bowers said almost nothing was salvaged from the house and the yard was littered with a burned mattress, charred furnishings and toys.

The Cumberland Valley Hose, Vigilant Hose and Fayetteville fire companies assisted at the scene, along with firefighters from Letterkenny Fire Department, O'Donnell said.

The Herald-Mail Articles