BRANDON — No one was injured in a fire Sunday that destroyed a double-wide mobile home on Wheeler Road.
Brandon Fire Chief Roman Wdoviak said Monday his department was dispatched to 2049 Wheeler Road at approximately 8 p.m., but there was little firefighters could do to save the home. Wdoviak said mobile homes burn extremely quickly compared to other structures.
“The first person on scene was my deputy, Scott Trask,” said Wdoviak. “He pulled up in his truck, he said when he got out he couldn’t see because of the smoke.”
Firefighters from Pittsford and Salisbury showed up to help, said Wdoviak, while Proctor firefighters covered Brandon’s station. He said it was shortly after midnight when the scene was cleared. Wdoviak said the home was still standing when firefighters left, but the fire completely gutted it.
Brandon Police and Brandon Rescue also responded. Rutland Town firefighters were also involved in station coverage.
Wdoviak said he asked Vermont State Police fire investigators to look into the cause of the blaze.
According to a report released Monday by Assistant State Fire Marshal Josh Maxham, of the Division of Fire Safety, and Detective Sergeant Matt Hill, of the Vermont State Police, the fire started in a closet that housed the water heater. It’s believed to be accidental in nature and not suspicious.
Investigators said the home is owned by Sandy Cram, of Wallingford, but was occupied by her son, Eugene Cram. According to their report, Eugene was away from the home working when he came back at 7:45 p.m. He saw fire inside the home through a window, near the electric water heater.
He tried to fight the fire with a fire extinguisher, but wasn’t successful, so he escaped along with his dogs and called 911.
The smoke was so thick when firefighters arrived, the house couldn’t be seen from the road, according to investigators.
Wdoviak said his department and its mutual aid partners have been busy with fire calls since Sept. 3 when a fire was reported at Phoenix Feeds & Nutrition on Union Street in Brandon.
There was no fire, but several hundred tons of grain had begun to smolder, requiring firefighters to move all of it out of a storage area and wet it down. Since then, the department has responded to several suspected fires, one at the Methodist Church for a strong smell of smoke, and one on Saturday for a reported kitchen fire at J R’s Eatery in Pittsford. The latter was a minor incident in the kitchen, said Wdoviak.
He said the department, like many others, is in need of volunteers.
Those interested should come to the station Wednesday evenings.