YUMA — Weber City and Gate City firefighters fought a two-structure blaze early Thursday while avoiding exploding propane tanks.
Fire crews responded around 1:30 a.m. to the fire in the Prospect Road area of Yuma, according to Weber City Volunteer Fire Department Chief Bruce Cross.
Cross said dispatchers told firefighters that one person was trapped in a mobile home next to a frame house at the scene, but the man was able to escape by the time crews arrived. The son apparently lived in the mobile home, Cross said, and his father lived in the house. Their identities were not available Thursday.
Cross said the mobile home was engulfed when crews arrived, and at least six 20-pound propane bottles exploded under the residence while firefighters tried to contain the blaze.
“The house was catching fire when we arrived, and we worked on that since the mobile home was destroyed,” Cross said.
A larger propane tank was burning from its valve but did not explode, Cross said, and firefighters were concerned at first that the explosions might have been from home medical oxygen tanks. However, none were found.
Six Weber City and two Gate City firefighters along with two Weber City trucks and a Gate City tanker brought the fire under control by 3:30 a.m., Cross said. The Red Cross arrived by 4 a.m. to help the residents with shelter and clothing, he added.
Both structures were total losses after the initial fire, Cross said.
Crews returned to the scene around 7:30 a.m. because of a flare-up in the mobile home’s remains, Cross said, and the house caught fire again around 9:30 a.m. before it was extinguished.
Cross said that in the past two days Red Cross workers had been assisting residents in Dickenson County who had been affected by flooding from tropical storm Ida, delaying their ability to respond with help to the fire victims.
Cross said his department has been raising funds to convert the former Weber City Food City building into a new station, and Thursday’s fire highlighted the need for including temporary shelter as well as storage for clothing and other victim needs in the new station.
For more about the Weber City fire station or to donate, visit https://webercityva.org/fire-department.html.