Two campers and a boat were destroyed by fire and several others from heat damage after a blaze broke out at the Marion Moose Lodge at a spot known as the Island early Saturday morning.
Assistant Fire Chief Robert Kirkpatrick of the Nebo Fire Department said multiple fire and rescue agencies were dispatched at 4:43 a.m. to the campground area of the lodge to find the properties fully involved.
“The cause is still under investigation, but we believe it to be electrical,” he said. “The camper of origin appeared to have to have an addition with an electrical unit that was in the room. Seven other campers sustained damage from the heat, but no one was at home at the campers that burned. No one was injured.”
Kirkpatrick said it took fire crews about 45 minutes to contain the flames and they were on the scene for several hours. The fire on the boat reignited twice.
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“The boat burned to the point the gas tank was exposed and it reignited, and we put it out, and it reignited again, so we just let it burn out,” he said.
Several propane tanks exploded during the fire prior to the fire department arriving, Kirkpatrick said, and power lines running to the campers were a concern, but none were damaged. No foul play is suspected.
“Once we got it knocked down, we felt pretty safe,” he said.
Total damages have not yet been determined.
Bruce Frisbee Jr., of Marion, owns one of the campers that burned down and said he is just glad no one was injured. He and his family have had their camper there for over 30 years and he didn’t find out about the incident until mid-morning Saturday.
“Ours burned down and our neighbors burned to ground along with his boat. We are just thankful no one was injured and that the fire department got it out because it was going all over the Island,” Frisbee told the newspaper.
His camper was valued at $78,000. Frisbee added that his neighbor helped save other property that could have been destroyed, as well as helping wake up other campers.
“Mike Wilson got Loretta out of her place and moved all the vehicles and golf carts. If it wasn’t for him, there could have been a lot more damage,” he told the newspaper by phone.
Twenty-seven personnel assisted at the scene from Nebo, Marion, Dysartsville, Glenwood and West End fire departments, McDowell Rescue, McDowell EMS and McDowell County Sheriff’s Office.