Camper's built-in charging unit caused house fire in Hastings on MondayA house, garage, pickup truck and camper were destroyed in a fire in the 1300 block of West 17th Street Monday morning. Hastings firefighters were just finishing work at an earlier fire along Highway 55 near Emerald Greens Golf Course when the house fire started, Fire and EMS Director Mike Schutt said.
By: Katrina Styx, The Hastings Star-Gazette
A house, garage, pickup truck and camper were destroyed in a fire in the 1300 block of West 17th Street Monday morning.
Hastings firefighters were just finishing work at an earlier fire along Highway 55 near Emerald Greens Golf Course when the house fire started, Fire and EMS Director Mike Schutt said.
“Just as we were pulling away from that fire, we could see the smoke from this fire,” he said.
Based on the initial information, Schutt immediately called for mutual aid from Prescott, Cottage Grove and Miesville.
The 17th Street fire, reported at 11:25 a.m. April 23, began in a camper parked in the driveway. The camper had a built-in charging unit to charge batteries and provide electricity in the camper, Schutt said. The fire was traced to the charger, which was plugged into the home’s electricity.
Flames spread to the pickup truck parked next to it as well as the nearby garage, then spread through the attic into the house.
The fire spread rapidly, Schutt said. By the time firefighters got set up to attack it, flames had already gotten into the house. Within a few minutes it had broken through the roof and self-vented. Firefighters were setting up to attack the fire from the inside as well as by venting the roof, Schutt said, but conditions changed while they were setting up. The fire spread across the roof line and put firefighters on the defensive. They had to use aerial ladders with high-powered water nozzles to knock the fire down. The ladder nozzles shoot water at 1,250 gallons per minute.
While working to keep the flames down, reports came in that there were still animals inside the house. Crews were sent in to rescue the animals, and once the pets were safely removed, they continued the attack.
There’s always a danger of a fire spreading to nearby homes, Schutt said, and this incident was no exception.
“Fortunately it wasn’t real windy,” he said.
Early in the fight, firefighters put water on the neighbor’s house to keep it cool, and the house was undamaged.
Firefighters from Prescott, Cottage Grove and Miesville assisted Hastings in suppressing the fire.
The house, home to a family of four, was unoccupied at the time of the fire, with the exception of two dogs and a rabbit. Firefighters were able to rescue the animals, which were taken to a veterinarian. One dog was assisted at the scene by a bystander who gave the dog mouth-to-mouth.
The house, garage, camper and truck were a total loss, Schutt said. Firefighters were on scene until nearly 5 p.m. No people were injured in the incident.