Fire leaves Columbia trailer a complete loss

Wednesday, July 8, 2009 | 4:07 p.m. CDT; updated 11:13 p.m. CDT, Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Marsha Harrison takes photographs Wednesday of the damage caused to her mother's mobile home in Columbia after an electrical short in the clothes dryer caused a fire. No one was hurt in the blaze.

COLUMBIA — A computer, light bulbs and a handful of CDs were among a small list of items saved after a fire destroyed a trailer early Wednesday morning.

Five Columbia Fire Department engines responded to the call at 7:15 a.m. at Colonial Village on Range Line Street after a smoke alarm alerted residents sleeping inside. No one was injured.


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Marie Crews, 56, has lived in the trailer for 15 years. Her daughter, Marsha Harrison, was visiting with her husband when the fire started.

The fire alarm and billowing smoke warned the couple of the danger, and they were able to get Crews safely out of her bedroom, along with her dog, Piper.

“The trailer is a complete loss, but the Fire Department did an awesome job getting here, and the fire was extinguished in 20 minutes,” Harrison said.

Although the cause of the fire is still under investigation, the family thinks the cause of the fire was the dryer.

“About a month ago lightning struck the dryer and we had it fixed, but obviously that wasn’t enough,” Harrison said. “While we were sleeping the dryer was not on, and it just failed.”

Fire Department Capt. Eric Hartman was on the scene when the Fire Department responded.

“I cannot confirm the cause of the fire, but there was a lot of fire damage to the utility room of the trailer,” Hartman said.

After the fire was extinguished, Harrison walked through the trailer and peered into her mother’s bedroom. She tearfully said that the only thing that saved her mother’s life was the wall between the bedroom and the utility room.

“We were asleep and it all happened so fast,” Harrison said. “Make sure your fire alarm works because that is what saved us.”

Crews was fully insured and plans on staying with her daughter for an unspecified amount of time.

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Antone P. Braga July 13, 2009 | 12:49 p.m.

Are You Disaster Ready? (hurricane, tornado, earthquake, flood, fire, etc.)

What do you expect in case of an insured loss? Who cares?

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