Fire destroys two motor homes in Hazel Dell

Three adults, child displaced by blaze at RV park

By Patty Hastings and Paul Suarez

Published:

Updated: October 3, 2012, 6:39 PM

 
Mobile home fire

A noontime fire destroyed two motor homes Wednesday and damaged two others at Sam’s Good RV Park on Northeast Highway 99 in Hazel Dell.

Amanda Nelson, 22, said the fire started in the passenger’s side of her mother’s Fleetwood motor home at 11:56 a.m. When Nelson smelled smoke, she went to tell the neighbors, and then the RV went up in flames.

“It didn’t take five minutes,” Nelson said.

Craig Wagenknecht, 44, tried to smother the fire with blankets and water while Derek Reed, 17, grabbed a hose and kept a propane tank in front of the Fleetwood wet before firefighters arrived.

“I didn’t want it to blow up,” Reed said.

Neighbors brought fire extinguishers and hoses to help put out the fire, but pretty soon the fire spread to the Shasta motor home next to it.

When Fire District 6 and the Vancouver Fire Department arrived to 8510 N.E. Highway 99, both trailers were engulfed in flames. About 25 firefighters worked to extinguish the fire, protect the propane tanks and keep the fire from spreading to other RVs, said Chief Jerry Green with Fire District 6.

“When the firefighters got here, I walked away. I couldn’t watch it,” Reed said.

The fire was put out in five minutes, Green said. Both RVs were destroyed.

JJ Reed, 40, recently bought the Shasta RV for his family.

“Everything was nice in that thing, too,” he said. He was working on remodeling the inside.

Tracey Green, 50, owner of the Fleetwood RV, was treated at Legacy Salmon Creek Medical Center and later released. She had lived in the trailer park about four years and moved into the RV about a month ago.

During the fire, a window shattered in the trailer next to the Fleetwood and the trailer next to the Shasta was warped from heat damage. The driver’s side of a Ford Explorer parked in front of the Shasta motor home was damaged by heat.

Fire Marshal Ken Hill is investigating the cause of the fire.

The Red Cross was on scene, assisting both families. Green said three adults and one child were displaced by the fire.

A section of southbound Highway 99 in front of the entrance to the RV park was blocked while crews worked on the scene.

Residents say about 70 families live in Sam’s Good RV Park near Walmart.