Structure fire destroys home at Whispering Pines Senior Park

Staff ReportJuly 29, 2014 

At 10:55 a.m. Tuesday, July 29 a structural fire broke out inside the Whispering Pines Senior Mobile Park located at 41941 Road 222 in Oakhurst.

No one was injured during the fire but more than eight fire units, including several out of district units, were dispatched to the scene of the fire which threatened several homes in the area.

According to authorities, due to the quick response and combined effort of several crews the fire was contained almost immediately and the damages were limited to the single 2,000 square-foot home located at the south west corner of the park.

The home was fully engulfed in flames when firefighting personnel arrived. The owners of the home were not present at the time of the blaze nor was their elderly mother who was at the Oakhurst Senior Center when the fire started.

According to witnesses, neighbors and Farrell gas company workers first noticed the flames and tried to stop the fire from spreading by dosing the home with water from a garden hose. A type-3 Wild Fire engine, E-520 from the Rio Rico Fire District in Arizona was first on scene followed by Bass Lake engine 4254.

The engines from the Rio Rico District have recently been dispatched to the Mountain Area in an effort to redistribute resources while local fire units continue to help with the ongoing French Incident.

The on-scene incident commander, Cal Fire Division Chief Don Stein, said he was extremely impressed and pleased to see such a smooth and effective collaboration among joining districts and Cal Fire.

“Once those guys got in and got to work they knocked it down pretty quickly,” Stein said.

Stein says it is clearly evident their presence is needed with several strike teams from the local areas covering the french incident.

Engine E-520 remained at the front of the fire with Cal Fire water engines replenished their water supply from their trucks using a technique called shuttling resources.

Neighbors said the home’s owners have lived in the park for more than 20 years and said they were very aware of the potential fire hazards and took all necessary precautions to protect themselves from this type of incident.

For the time being, and while insurance companies assess the damage, the homes owners said they plan to stay at a friends apartment while insurance companies decide what to do. Other crews called to the scene included several Cal Fire engines 4254, 3564 and 3569, and reserve engines which have been called in for support from New Mexico and Arizona.

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