Capt. Kevin Kernen, of Craig Fire/Rescue, hits the flames inside Unit 302 of Cedar Mountain Village with a dose of water Saturday afternoon. The cause of the fire in the mobile home is unclear, though investigators think it was manmade and likely an accident.

Photo by Andy Bockelman

Capt. Kevin Kernen, of Craig Fire/Rescue, hits the flames inside Unit 302 of Cedar Mountain Village with a dose of water Saturday afternoon. The cause of the fire in the mobile home is unclear, though investigators think it was manmade and likely an accident.

Fire erupts inside Craig mobile home Saturday

Hume: Cause of blaze uncertain

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A fire broke out Saturday afternoon at Unit 302 of Craig’s Cedar Mountain Village.

The members of Craig Fire/Rescue received the call shortly after 3:30 p.m. and were quick to respond alongside personnel from Craig Police Department, Moffat County Sheriff’s Office and The Memorial Hospital’s Emergency Medical Services.

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Craig Fire/Rescue firefighters Jennifer Tipp and Lt. Doug Willems, top, pry open part of the roof on Unit 203 of Cedar Mountain Village to allow for smoke ventilation. The mobile home caught fire Saturday afternoon.

Fire Chief KC Hume said the crew was able to put out the blaze quickly partly because the residents were able to get out of the building before responders arrived. Firefighters also accessed the top of the mobile home via an aerial platform and used chain saws to aid in the ventilation and removal of excess smoke.

“We do that for safety to make sure that nobody falls through the roof,” Hume said.

Hume said the cause of the fire is under investigation.

“It was definitely manmade, probably accidental,” he said.

Next-door neighbor Patty Balleck was alerted that she needed to evacuate her house in case the fire spread, grabbing her two cats and exiting in a speedy manner, hearing an explosion she thought came from a television in the vicinity.

She was partly right.

“Their TV just blew up,” Balleck said, referring to the fire-stricken house, though she thought this was more a result of the inferno inside and not the cause.

The residents who were renting the mobile home included Jen and Bill Boston and their children, Harley, Charlie and Heavenly, as well as Bill’s brother, Craig Cantrell, and his fiancée, Kathy Rowton.

The Bostons were transported to TMH primarily as a precautionary measure.

Though the family did not have any apparent injuries, Rowton said she was concerned about Bill experiencing smoke inhalation, adding that Jen’s hair was singed by flames as they all exited the house. Rowton said the fire began in the children’s bedroom, though she wasn’t certain of the cause because when the flames sprang up, everyone’s only instinct was to get away as fast as possible.

“We just grabbed the kids and got out of there,” she said.

Rowton and Cantrell watched from across the street, shaken as charred belongings were tossed out from the smoking hole in the side of the house that was once the kids’ bedroom.

“That used to be their closet,” she said, pointing. “There’s their toy box.”

The two said an attempt to put out the fire with their own hose might have worked, but when Cantrell went to hook it up to a water supply at one of the communal hydrants — separate from city fire hydrants — he found it padlocked.

Valerie Davis, property manager for Cedar Mountain Village, said the complex has been undergoing updates in its water usage, recently adding water meters and spigots for individual units to replace the larger hydrants, which are outdated and were only recently taken out of use.

The timing is unfortunate, said Davis, who was out of town at the time. She also added that she hoped those involved were unharmed.

The Bostons have not been available for comment, and Rowton said she is unsure where any of the family will go.

“I just don’t know what we’re going to do,” she said.

Because she was barefoot when the emergency occurred, Rowton was without any shoes while watching firefighters work, which led Amanda Reed, a Craig resident who drove to check on family members in Cedar Mountain Village when she heard the news, to ask if either Rowton or Cantrell could use something to help them calm down or a spare pair of flip-flops.

Reed was also acquainted with the Bostons.

“They’re really good people, on hard times, and they didn’t need this,” Reed said. “The most important thing is everyone’s OK.”

Contact Andy Bockelman at 970-875-1793 or abockelman@CraigDailyPress.com.

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