An early morning fire destroyed a 5th wheel travel trailer at the Eagle Valley Resort Jan. 20.
County Sheriff Kerry Lee reported the call came in to the dispatch center in Pioche about 5:30 a.m. of a fire in the trailer in one of the spaces at the resort. The trailer was occupied by Dennis O’Conner and Mary McCormack who were in the trailer at the time of the fire but managed to escape.
The Eagle Valley fire truck and Meadow Valley and Panaca fire departments responded, along with Meadow Valley Ambulance, Pioche ambulance and the county water tender.
“Those 5th wheels can burn fast and hot,” said Lee, “so it was completely involved by the time we arrived. I don’t know if the couple were able to salvage anything.”
County District Fire Chief Rick Stever said the trailer was a total loss, fully engulfed when he was the first to arrive on the scene. He said the couple were asleep and were awakened by the trailer filling with smoke and had to make a quick escape through the smoke to get out the side door. No injuries.
State Highway 319 to Eagle Valley from Pioche was very treacherous that morning, Lee said. With the snow storm that had blanketed the area with heavy snow, even though the road was plowed, “there was still quite a bit of black ice on the road and we had to go slow and easy, very treacherous and slick and deer on the road.”
There were concerns other trailers around might also catch fire, but firefighters were able to protect those, Lee noted. “A large propane tank was also nearby, and it got so hot the valve opened and it was venting burning fumes, but it didn’t explode.”
Lee said with the bad winter weather of late, “the county and the state have done a great job in keeping the roads plowed, and we have also be very fortunate to not have had much in the way of major incidents.”
John Crosthwait, owner of the resort, has provided a cabin for the couple to live in temporarily and many others have donated food, money and clothing. “A real show of community support,” one local resident said.
Many individuals have even taken to social media to help raise money for the couple. A Go Fund Me page, created on their behalf, has already been shared upwards of fifty times as of the posting of this article.