Shortly after 4:00 PM on Saturday afternoon, Tarkington firefighters were dispatched to a report of a travel trailer fire on a dear lease behind Tarkington Mobile Home Park off of FM2518. Responding units reported seeing the column of smoke from as far as five miles away.
Tarkington Assistant Chief Evert Doucette arrived on location less than two minutes after the tone and reported that not only was there a travel trailer on fire, but two pickup trucks and nearly two acres of pasture and brush. He then called for assistance from both Cypress Lakes and Cleveland fire departments to bring brush trucks and a tanker.
Tarkington Engine 52 and Engine 51 arrived shortly thereafter and firefighters began fighting the trailer and truck fires, while Booster 51 and Cypress Lakes Booster 821 tackled the pasture/brush fire. Tarkington Tanker 51 and Tanker 57 began supplying water to help fight the fire and firefighters from Cleveland VFD also assisted in fighting the fire.
The owners of the travel trailer and trucks had been out hunting and arrived back as firefighters were putting out the last of the flames to find the trailer and both pickups a total loss. They told investigators that there was no electrical power to the trailer as their generator had ran out of fuel the night before and that there was also no propane at the trailer. They also told investigators that they had been cooking chili on a portable stove just outside of the trailer and that they had left a campfire burning from the night before, but it is not thought that either contributed to the fire. Liberty County Fire Marshal Jim Wilson was called to investigate the fire.
This call was the second of five on the day for Tarkington firefighters, as they also responded to two motor vehicle accidents, a burn ban violation, and another brush fire.
Tarkington VFD would like to remind everyone that the burn ban for Liberty County is still in effect and is not affected by the recent rains. Liberty County Commissioners’ Court meets on Tuesday, November 9th to vote on whether or not to extend the ban. Should the ban be lifted, TVFD urges extreme caution as the Tarkington area is nearly twelve inches below the average rainfall for the year and there is abundant fuel for a wildfire. If the ban is continued, TVFD reminds residents that illegal burning is subject to a $500 fine AND those burning are liable for all damages incurred should a fire get out of control.
PHOTOS BY DALTON GREGORY AND LEIGH WARD