An electrical fire destroyed an elderly man's mobile home and two others were damaged in Apache Junction's Shady Rest senior community early Monday, but about two dozen firefighters on the scene were able to save most of his personal belongings.
The fire, which broke out shortly before 6 a.m. at the mobile home park, 11435 E. Apache Trail, was noticed by the occupant after he went outside to smoke a cigarette and saw flames coming out of the electrical panel outside of his house, according to Mark Cichocki, spokesman for Rural-Metro Fire Department.
After four engine companies, two fire rescue crews and two battalion chiefs arrived on the scene, they had the fire under control in about 40 minutes and were able to save half of the structure, Cichocki said.
"To stop the fire where they did was not an easy job," Cichocki said. "Trailer fires burn so hot and so fast. Crews gave a very aggressive interior attack to get it under control."
Cichocki said that there was some additional concern because there were a number of oxygen tanks inside the residence, high-pressure cylinders that could have exploded.
The trailer was determined to be a total loss. Two nearby mobile homes also were damaged, one from an oxygen tank inside the man's home that did explode and struck a neighboring trailer, according to Luther Moorhead, a spokesman for Rural Metro.
The fire does not appear to be suspicious at this time, and no one was injured from the blaze, Cichocki said.
The displaced resident from the trailer is being assisted by the Red Cross for other living arrangements at this time. His name was not released.
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