Man escapes trailer fire

MANATEE – A man escaped a fire this morning that destroyed a mobile home and gave quite a scare to neighbors in a quiet RV park near Oneco.

At around 8:30 a.m., firefighters responded to the mobile home fire in the Arbor Terrace RV Park, at 55th Avenue Terrace West and Second Street West, and arrived to find it engulfed in flames, according to a Cedar Hammock Fire Rescue report.

The fire was contained to the mobile home and put out in about 15 minutes, according to the report. The occupant of the home, a man in his 20s, escaped without injury.

The cause of the fire is under investigation, but it has been ruled an accident. The mobile home suffered $10,000 in damage and is considered a total loss. Cedar Hammock responded with three fire engines and 15 firefighters. The American Red Cross also responded and helped the victim with clothes and other necessities.

Neighbors in the park had a quite a scare as flames engulfed the home. It took just moments for flames to tear through the mobile home, said Dave Ballingall, a retired firefighter from Canada whose RV was anchored next to the home that caught fire.

Ballingall said he grabbed his hose and tried to help put out the flames, while losing a lawn chair to the extreme heat.

“I thought I was done with this,” Ballingall said referencing his former career. “Really it’s tragic for the young man. I am just glad he was not injured.”