Fire consumes home

Published 1:45 am Friday, May 20, 2011

These charred remains are all that’s left of a mobile home destroyed by fire Thursday morning. (WDN Photo/Edwin Modlin II)

The Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a fire that destroyed a single-wide mobile home Thursday morning as an arson.
Firefighters and sheriff’s deputies responded to the mobile-home fire about 9:30 a.m. Thursday on Jack’s Street in the Mimosa Manor Mobile Home Park off River Road east of Washington.
Information collected at the fire scene indicates the fire was intentionally set, the sheriff’s office reported in a news release.
The fire was extinguished by the Bunyan Volunteer Fire Department, according to the sheriff’s office.
John Grooms, overseer of the mobile-home park, said the mobile home had been vacant about four months and utilities to it had been cut off. Grooms, who leases the lot where the charred remains of the mobile home are located, said he believes the fire was intentionally set.
“Someone who wanted to remain anonymous said they saw some people running from the trailer. A few minutes later, it was in flames,” Grooms said during a brief interview Thursday afternoon.
“I believe it was arson,” Grooms said. “If you check with the sheriff’s office, they will tell you they think it’s arson.”
“I got a phone call telling me about the fire. When I got out here, it was fully engulfed in flames,” Grooms said.
Grooms said he had general liability insurance on the mobile home and lot, but he said a conversation he had with someone with the insurance company indicated the mobile home was not covered by fire insurance.
“I’m just glad no one was living in it,” Grooms said.
If the fire is the result of arson, it would be the latest in a string of arsons that began earlier this year. The sheriff’s office, in a news release issued Thursday afternoon, said investigators do not believe the Thursday fire is related to those arsons.
Anyone with information about this case is asked to call Beaufort County Crime Stoppers at 974-6400. Crime Stoppers will pay up to $1,000 for information that leads to an arrest in this case. Callers do not have to give their name to receive rewards.