Updated: Fire guts mobile home

Updated 3:36 p.m. Wednesday.

RANTOUL — A rural Rantoul couple lost their belongings when a fire destroyed the interior of the mobile home they rented Wednesday afternoon.

The fire at Fountain Valley Mobile Home Park, south of Rantoul, gutted the mobile home of Amanda Ebert and Richard Rutledge.

Thomasboro Fire Chief Paul Cundiff said the couple was able to move into another home there.

The fire was called in at 11:57 a.m.

Ebert and her baby escaped unharmed, but the couple’s cat died. Rutledge was not home at the time.

Thomasboro fire officials contacted the Red Cross to help the couple with clothing and other necessities.

Thomasboro and Rantoul firefighters fought the blaze.

Cundiff said a caller originally indicated there was a fire around the washer-dryer unit at Trailer No. 69.

“Pretty quick it was upgraded that the whole trailer was on fire,” Cundiff said.

He said Ebert tried to extinguish the fire, which firefighters believe was electrical in origin, with a pan of water.

“When (firefighters) got there, there was a fire in the utility room, and it had spread underneath the trailer, they think from the lint that had collected under the trailer. It kind of spread from one end to the other,” Cundiff said.

The fire chief said the mobile home’s walls are standing, but the interior was gutted.

Firefighters cleared the scene about 1:30 p.m.

Cundiff said six Thomasboro firefighters were on the scene. Rantoul Fire Chief Ken Waters said 14 Rantoul firefighters responded. Rantoul brought a tanker full of water.

“There are hydrants, but they’re on 2-inch mains” and not adequate to fight a fire, Waters said. 

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Urbana_Watcher wrote on February 20, 2013 at 11:02 pm

Not surprised if it is an electrical fire. A friends lived in three trailers there and each one had old code wiring and things that were fixed with extension cords. The two women owners or managers don't do repairs or upgrades. The old Shull's Mobile Home Park is extremely run down. My friends wouldn't drink the water that comes from the water tower on site. I told a friends daughter who was moving inthere with a newborn to by bottled what for the baby's formula and she already knew about the bad water but had to have a home. But, where else are people going to live? Still, they shouldn't have to live somewhere with the threat of losing their lives from old faulty trailers. If this was a lint fire, then why wasn't it vented out to the side of the trailer and not under? Even the hydrants are obsolete!