Saturday, May 10, 2014

Modular Home Fire Will Fan the Flames for MA Fire Chief's Rants

The South Boston, VA "THE GAZETTE-VIRGINIAN" reported a modular home went up in flames in Halifax, Va. I can’t wait until a certain egotistical fire chief in MA hears about this one. There will be no stopping his rants now.

“No clothes, no TVs, nothing.” That’s how Liberty Volunteer Fire Department Assistant Fire Chief Jeff Brown described the state of the Eric Phillips’ family of four after they “lost everything” when their two-story modular home caught fire shortly after 3 a.m. Thursday.

The Phillips family resided in a brand new modular home at 1205 Younger Road in Halifax and is currently being assisted by the American Red Cross, the assistant fire chief said.

“They hadn’t made the first payment on the home,” Brown said. 

Liberty Volunteer Fire Department firefighters were the first to arrive on the scene of the house fire that is believed to have started in the half-bathroom on the second floor. 

“It is under investigation. The fire marshal is supposed to go out and investigate today (Thursday),” Brown added. 

When firemen arrived on the scene, heavy smoke was showing.

Within a couple of minutes, Brown said the men saw fire coming out of the roof. 

The family of four had safely evacuated the home before firemen arrived. 

A total of 12 Liberty firefighters responded to the early morning blaze with three trucks. 

Assisting were Oak Level Volunteer Fire Department with one truck and three firefighters, Triangle Volunteer Fire Department with one truck and three firefighters, North Halifax Volunteer Fire Department with two trucks and seven firefighters and Halifax Volunteer Fire Department with two trucks and six firefighters. 

In all, firefighters worked for more than five hours using 13,500 gallons of water to extinguish the flames. 

Firefighters were called back to the house Thursday afternoon at 12:45 when the fire reportedly rekindled in the living room. 

The home, declared a total loss, was valued at $187,000. 


george morgan said...

Two story home ... looks more like a two box cape...furthermore if the fire actually did start in second floor half bath...that is done on site...another example of blame the modular guys....

years ago while working the trucking industry.. we read about truck accidents all the time...TRUCK WRECKS...just to find out they were most often pick up trucks...gotta love sensationalism

Anonymous said...

Thank God The Family is Safe!! Now Let's find out the FACTS...Like any other situation..Before Everyone jumps on the bandwagon....

Anonymous said...

Yes, Thank God the family is safe and unharmed but I agree with Mr. Morgan, that is definitely a cape which would have been finished on site by the builder. Most bad press that I read about modular manufacturers 90% of the time comes down to shoddy work done on site, which of course is the fault of the builder and not the manufacturer, but it all gets lumped into the same pile of bad press.

Unknown said...

My name is Eric Phillips. That was my family and my home that we just purchased in the story above. I came across this website while performing a goole search of my address. I do not know entirely what the purpose of this website is but I can shed facts on this specific case that might help make the story a bit more clear. The home was build in 2005 and while it did have a finished staircase to the upstairs, the second story was completely unfinished. The second story was basically splint in two halves by a single wall. I am not sure if the wall was constructed by the modular company or not (I dont even know where the family got the modular house from). However, the previous and original owners divorced and was selling this house out of that settlement. The ex-husband was known by neighbors to "party" often and had done some of his own electrical work in the upstairs. I dont want to make any assumptions here so I will just say this. There was a little cubby-hole area in the corner of the upstairs that was insulated, lined with plastic, and had a 4 outlet box in it which grow lamps were plugged into. The fire investigator had narrow the source down to a fault in one of the hot leads in an outlet in the center of the upstairs. It is hard to determine whether this was caused by improper initial installation or a "do-it-yourself" job by someone who didnt really know what the were doing. Either way, we replaced it with another (much better) modular from VA Homes who did a fantastic job. I still have my wife and 2 children and we couldnt be happier with the new home. I dont believe this was a case of poor work by a modular company. Simply, an unfortunate event and a lesson to anyone doing their own handy work. Dont take any shortcuts. We were just fortunate to wake up and get out of the house. The previous owner had take or not installed any smoke detectors in the home. We had purchased a 5 pack to put up but I was working an extreme amount of hours and due to the short time we had been in the house, I hadnt had a chance to put them up yet. We only happened to wake up when the heat from the upstairs caused a glass light cover in one of the bathrooms to fall and shatter. That is when we discovered the fire and were able to get out. We lost pretty much everything but made it out safely. Do not take smoke detectors for granted and use the photoelectric / ionizing combo detectors to best protect yourself.