By Tia Lynn Ivey
A mobile home on Maple Street in Madison caught fire and was decimated last week after a young child reportedly got a hold of a lighter and accidentally started a fire beneath a mattress in one of the bedrooms, according to City of Madison Fire Officials.
“It’s a terrible thing,” said City Fire Marshall Gene Porter. “It is so important to talk to your kids about fire safety and keep lighters and matches up and away from small children.”
According to Porter, a mother and her two young children lived in the home and evacuated unharmed after the fire broke out on Wednesday, Jan. 30 just after 5:40 p.m.
“This mother did everything she could,” said Porter. “She got her children out and then tried to return inside to see if she could put out the fire, but it was too big to handle She did everything properly.”
According to officials, the fire spread quickly, engulfing the entire mobile home and damaging part of a neighbor’s mobile home before it was finally extinguished. Madison Firefighters were on the scene within minutes of the initial 9-1-1 call, but it was too late to save the mobile home.
“It took us almost two hours to put it out and it’s pretty much destroyed,” said Porter, who noted fires tend to spread more quickly with mobile homes. “Unfortunately with mobile homes, it’s typical that they go up fast when they catch fire,” said Porter. “The materials used to build mobile homes, wood paneling, ply wood, and the lack of compartmentalization, make it very flammable.”
According to Porter, he will reach out to the family and conduct some fire safety information with the children as part of the city’s fire prevention program.
“The biggest thing we can learn from this as a community is talk to your kids about fire safety. Preach that message at home, bring them to our fire prevention programs, so that this kind of thing doesn’t happen to anyone else,” said Porter.