Protecting Your Family In The Wake Of Odessa's Tragic Mobile Home Fire 7/5/13
CBS 7 News
July 5, 2013
ODESSA-Neighbors on Hereford in Odessa say they woke up to a man screaming for help s a mobile home burned, ripping a family apart, all in the blink of an eye.
I opened up the door and saw flames that were taller than the tree, said Eyewitness Kimberly Mclane.
Even the tree and the car parked outside this trailer home were burned by the flames, Sheriff's officials say three people died, one was hospitalized and two others walked away from this early morning blaze.
"The car looks like heat got to it, you have a door there where fire escapes and natural fire is going to climb up and that's what you see where it hit that tree, said Odessa Fire Marshal Detra White.
State fire investigators were on scene, picking around the rubble of what was left behind. No word on the cause of the fire, but they say arson or foul play is not suspected. Neighbors are shaken up.
I was like Oh, my god what is going on because Ive never seen a fire that bad in this neighborhood, said Mclane.
The Odessa fire marshal says the fire may have started inside and wiring could be to blame.
"The most common cause of fire in mobile homes, according to the National Fire Protection Association, is electric systems, White said.
White says investigators always start by looking for the source.
"We track down where that fire started, or where we believe it started, then how it traveled and what could have intensified that fire, White said.
So how can you protect your family from a tragedy like this one?
"Make a plan of escape, eliminate things that may cause fire and make sure your smoke alarm is working, test them every month, White said.
White did not know how old this trailer was, but says mobile homes built before 1976 are at higher risk for fires because of the wiring and type of materials used.
Since January 1st, Texas property codes require all landlords to provide smoke alarms in rental units. So be sure to check with yours if you do not have one installed.