Fire claims everything man owns

Firefighters spray foam on the smoldering remains to keep hotspots from flaring.
DTL Staff
Staff Writer

A Clay County man loses everything when a fire started by a wood stove burns his mobile home to the ground.

Daniel Calhoun had added some wood to his stove Tuesday morning and walked up Strong Hill Road to his cousin’s house to watch a movie. At about noon, someone called 911 to report the trailer fire. Smoke and flames could be seen from Highway 50 and Barton Ferry Road.

“I’d put some wood in to get it warmed back up. Done it for years, never had a problem, never had anything like this happen,” he said, slowly shaking his head.

Calhoun found out about the fire when someone called his cousin’s wife and told her. By the time he got there, it was far gone.

The trailer was fully-involved when volunteer firefighters from the Northeast and Southeast Volunteer Fire units arrived.

Calhoun’s freshly cleaned laundry was hanging on clotheslines in front of the trailer as it burned.

“Something must have popped out of the heater or was leaning up against it,” a dazed Calhoun said as he watched firefighters spray foam on the smoldering remains to try to keep hot spots from flaring up. “That’s all I can figure…everything is gone.”

Calhoun, who lived in the trailer for more than 20 years, does construction work, especially metal roofing, for a private contractor. He wasn’t working Tuesday because of the weather.

Calhoun said he wasn’t sure whether his brother, who paid for the trailer, had insurance. He said he planned to stay with one of his relatives who lived nearby. The American Red Cross also has been contacted about helping Calhoun try to get back on his feet.

Firefighters said the blaze is a tragic reminder of how important it is to use extra care with heaters of all kinds when the weather gets colder.

“When it starts getting cold, we worry even more about something like this. Little things can cause big problems, whether it’s space heaters, wood stoves, candles, everything,” West Point Fire Chief Ken Wilbourne said.