Fire destroys mobile home in Holbrook |

Fire destroys mobile home in Holbrook

Andy Bourelle

A fire Saturday in a mobile home park at Holbrook Junction resulted in the loss of homes for four adults and three children.

Project Hope, the Red Cross and families and friends have been helping the victims.

“Everything is totally gone,” said Connie Van Roy, one of the residents. “My head is spinning today. I’m just overwhelmed from all the help and support we’ve received from the community.”

The fire began in a mobile home lived in by David Calais and Wendy Smith and spread to Van Roy’s, which she shared with her boy friend Rich Bowlen, and children Miranda, 16 months old; Rachel, 8; and Josh, 10.

Steve Eisele, deputy fire chief and fire marshal at East Fork Fire and Paramedic District, said the cause of the fire was an electrical failure in the first mobile home. The fire then broke a window, spread to an automobile, a 14-foot boat which belonged to Calais and Smith, and a pinon pine tree between the two mobile homes.

“The radiant heat got into that pinon pine and it just took off,” Eisele said.

The fire spread from the tree’s branches to the roof of Van Roy’s trailer.

Van Roy was at work at Raley’s, and her two older children were at their grandmother’s. Bowlen and Miranda were in the trailer at the time, and Van Roy said Miranda was looking out the screen door saying, “Daddy, Daddy.”

“Rich looked out the door and saw smoke coming out of the trailer next door to us,” Van Roy said. “He called 9-1-1 and grabbed the hose and started spraying it down. He called me at work. The fire was starting to spread to the rafters in our trailer and he got Miranda out.”

Van Roy’s trailer received severe damage and the other one was completely destroyed. Volunteer fire departments which helped put out the fires came from Topaz Ranch Estates, Topaz Lake, Ruhenstroth, Gardnerville Ranchos, Gardnerville, Douglas County Engine Co. and outside assistance from Antelope Valley.

Eisele said the fire in the first trailer was contained about 20 minutes after the first units arrived, and the second trailer was out after about 45 minutes.

Volunteers from the Sierra Nevada Chapter of the American Red Cross came to the scene and provided box lunches, donated by the Topaz Lodge, to the residents evacuated from their homes and the emergency responders.

Van Roy and her family have moved into an apartment in Gardnerville, and her associates at Raley’s have opened an account for them at the Bank of America Branch located in the Gardnerville store. She said the family needs furniture and bedroom items.

The Bank of America account number is 313003576 and is in Van Roy’s name. Donations may be made at any branch.

A garage sale is being organized to benefit Van Roy and her family by employees at the Gardnerville Raley’s.

Items may be brought to Leona Justinich at the store or she can be reached at 265-2204.

The Red Cross is helping to provide food and shelter to both families, according to member Rebecca Monson.

Calais and Smith have been provided with lodging and the Red Cross is helping them to find permanent shelter, she said.

Also, financial contributions can be made for both families through the Red Cross in Reno. Information, 702-856-1000.