WADDINGTON — Two people escaped unharmed from a burning Big Country camper Tuesday morning as fire crews quickly extinguished the blaze, which destroyed the camper. A charred shell was left in its place.

At about 8:30 a.m., firefighters with the Waddington Fire Department responded to 1810 County Road 44 for reports of a structure fire. Upon arrival, fire crews found thick black smoke billowing from a Big Country camper.

“...the rear of the trailer was fully involved at that time (upon arrival) and there were flames out pretty much every window,” Waddington Fire Department’s Second Assistant Chief Kevin J. Sharlow said.

First responders from Waddington, Madrid and Louisville fire departments quickly got to work dousing the flames. Mr. Sharlow said the fire was under control in about fifteen minutes, but crews continued to put out hotspots for over an hour.

Larry W. Thomas, owner of the camper, was awake earlier than normal Tuesday morning. He was inside the camper making his morning coffee when he smelled smoke.

“Normally I’d still have been in bed, and I don’t think we could’ve got out of there,” Mr. Thomas said. “I don’t see any way we could’ve got out of there.”

Mr. Thomas, a Florida resident, who was days away from heading back south, said the refrigerator in the camper was having issues recently and that someone was coming that day to check it out. When he smelled the smoke, he woke up his partner who then called 911.

“I opened up the cupboard door beside the refrigerator and flames were shooting up,” Mr. Thomas said. “I took the fire extinguisher and I emptied it into there.”

Neither suffered any injuries, but the trailer was a total loss.

“I’ll never own another one,” Mr. Thomas said.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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