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Middletown Transcript
  • Three adults left homeless by Townsend-area mobile home fire

  • Two men and a woman were left homeless Monday when a fire tore through their Townsend-area mobile home.
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  • Two men and a woman were left homeless Monday when a fire tore through their Townsend-area mobile home.
    All three managed to escape the fire unharmed, but the mobile home was completely destroyed by the blaze, which was first reported just before 10:30 a.m., according to Raymond Clark, first assistant fire chief for the Townsend Fire Department.
    “It was called in as possible fire, but the call was upgraded to a working house fire while we were en route,” Clark said. “It was pretty much gone when we got here a few minutes later.”
    Ursula Merkerison, 59, said she and fellow resident Leverne Evans, 60, were cleaning out a car about 100 feet from the mobile home they shared with 80-year-old John Brokenbaugh just before the fire broke out.
    “We didn’t see anything until (Evans) started going inside,” she said. “That’s when I saw this dark spot by the door. I knew it was a fire so I pushed him aside and ran in and called out to (Brokenbaugh) to get out.”
    Brokenbaugh, who’s lived in mobile home since 2000, said he was asleep in bed when he heard Merkerison cry out.
    “I got up and tried to bring out the fire extinguisher, but I couldn’t move it because I have a bad leg,” he said. “That’s when I came outside.”
    All three residents said they had no idea how the blaze might have started.
    “It looked like it was all around the wood table in the kitchen, but really I just don’t know,” Evans said.
    Evans, who suffers from a heart condition, said he moved several oxygen tanks stored outside the trailer into the yard but was unable to retrieve any items from the home due to the heavy smoke.
    Brokenbaugh said he was only able to grab a single shoe before the mobile home was fully engulfed.
    “I got no radio, no car keys, no wallet,” he said, adding that the mobile home also was not insured. “I’ve got nothing right now.”
    About 50 firefighters from Townsend, Odessa, Smyrna, Clayton and Middletown were able to bring the fire under control in about 45 minutes, Clark said.
    The blaze is currently under investigation by the state fire marshal’s office.
    All three residents of the mobile home are receiving emergency aid from the American Red Cross.

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