BROADWAY — A late-afternoon fire turned Monday into an unpleasant St. Patrick’s Day for a Broadway-area family.
Tina Dove and four of her five children escaped the fire at their mobile home on Sunrise Drive, just south of Broadway, but nearly half their belongings were destroyed in the blaze. Her oldest child, Davy, 23, was at work at the time.
The girlfriend of one of Dove’s sons also escaped unscathed, along with a pet ferret, Dove said.
Assistant Fire Marshal Joe Mullens with Rockingham County Fire and Rescue said a short in an electrical outlet in a bedroom caused the fire.
Although a heater was plugged into the outlet, it didn’t ignite the blaze, Mullens said. Instead, clothing and other combustibles caught fire due to the short, he said.
Personal items on the side of the trailer where the fire began were destroyed. The family, however, should be able to retrieve items on the other side of the home, he said, calling it a 40 percent loss.
Tina Dove suffered minor cuts on one hand while trying to fight the fire.
Her son, Dustin Dove, 22, said he retrieved a fire extinguisher from a boat outside the trailer. He emptied the contents of the device and said he almost had the fire extinguished.
After that he and his grandfather, Robert Smith, filled buckets of water from a cistern behind the trailer in an effort to douse the flames and also threw snow on the fire, but to no avail.
The blaze was reported at 4:35 p.m. and firefighters from Broadway Volunteer Fire Department were first on the scene, Mullens said. A crew went inside the home and had the fire contained within 15 to 20 minutes.
Personnel from Rockingham County, Timberville Volunteer Fire Department and the Broadway Emergency Squad assisted.
Tina Dove said the family will live with her parents next door indefinitely. The Red Cross is assisting the family.
Kathy Smith, a licensed practical nurse who works with Dove and her son, Davy, at an assisted-living facility, is collecting clothes for Dove’s teenage daughters.
To donate clothes or other items, call Smith at 435-4055.
Contact Caleb M. Soptelean at 574-6293 or firstname.lastname@example.org