Mobile Home Fire Claims Life of Elderly Man

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A fire ignites a trailer home in Washington County -- killing an elderly man who was sound asleep.

It happened just after 3 a.m. inside a private RV Park located on FM 1948 and LBJ near Lake Somerville.

“I knew he was an older guy,” said neighbor Keith England.

Neighbors say he kept to himself.

“I said what’s your name…and he couldn’t tell me his name,” England

Keith England says he grew concerned Monday afternoon after not hearing or seeing his quiet neighbor many residents who live on LBJ Drive near Lake Somerville, call: “Pappy.” England says he grew even more concerned after walking over to his house to check on him.

“The heater I smelled, it was bad and he couldn’t get up out of bed and there was trash all around his bed,” England lamented.

The next morning around 3:30…

“I didn’t know there was a fire,” said England.

That is until he stepped outside.

“I looked outside and all I saw was the whirling lights; and gosh, the fire, paramedics, police cars,” said England

“We had Rocky Creek, Gay Hill and Prairie Hill; all volunteer fire departments out here,” said Rocky Creek Fire Chief Tim Mantey.

As soon as the firefighters arrived on scene they say the 20 foot trailer was fully engulfed and had collapsed and the elderly victim was trapped inside.

“It took about 30 minutes to get it knocked down,” said Mantey. “We even had to get Prairie Hill to bring in water.”

While a space heater is in question -- Tuesday afternoon the State Fire Marshal began his investigation to find what exactly caused the trailer to ignite.

England says he feels guilty for not checking on his lonely neighbor much sooner.

“I don’t even know the guy, I walked over there and I saw him,” lamented England.

The cause remains under investigation.