Listen to this post
RANGELY I Firefighters with the Rangely Rural Fire Protection District (RRFPD) contained a residential fire to the back third of a trailer home after a space heater reportedly being used to defrost frozen water lines ignited combustible material beneath the trailer on Sunday night.
The home, located at 109 S. Cedar Ave., is owned by Rangely resident Terry Drake, who said the residence was vacated by renters last week.
The trailer home suffered smoke and structural damage to its laundry room, kitchen and a back bedroom, RRFPD Fire Chief Andy Shaffer said.
The firefighters received the call at 9:20 p.m. and arrived at the scene to find heavy smoke throughout the house. Responders cut a section of flooring from the home to access the fire from the main floor.
Despite temperatures lingering well below 32 degrees that froze the standby equipment and created slick patches of ice around the structure, Shaffer said that the dozen men who fought the fire — Jasper Whiston, Mike Cushman, Rick Moran, Cisco Lucero, Bo Lucas, Nathan Millsaps, Justin McClure, Kindal Cushman, James Rogers, Aaron Myers, Kyle Hixson and Brandon Rose — employed outstanding teamwork to keep the fire from spreading throughout the trailer.
“Most of the time with trailer house fires, once they start going, it’s hard to get them to stop,” Shaffer said. “The guys did a great job working together with a common focus to keep it from spreading. If it would have spread, we would have been in a defensive mode, not only trying to protect it, but also having to protect the surrounding structures, too.”
Shaffer said that while using space heaters is a common and generally safe method to thaw frozen pipes, residents should ensure that any potentially combustible items are removed from within range of the heaters.