Weekend fire destroys Blaine residence

Published on Thu, Jan 8, 2004
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Weekend fire destroys Blaine residence

A residential trailer burned to the ground last Saturday and officials still don�t know the cause.

At approximately 1 p.m. on January 3, firefighters arrived to a fully engulfed blaze at the Belair Trailer Park on Bell Road. The owner, Jim Shaw, was not home at the time. According to fire chief Jim Rutherford, district 13 fire units responded after 1 p.m. and had the blaze under control within 30 to 45 minutes. The residence, he said, is �totally gone.�

�We don�t know the cause of the blaze, but we think it�s accidental. He (the owner) states the woodstove was out, so there was no real heat source in there. It�s one of those things where it could be the woodstove, something electrical or something else,� he said, adding the cause will likely never be found. �The firefighters did an excellent job protecting the nearby structures.�

No one was in the residence during the fire; however, a dog was saved by a passerby and one firefighter was injured after slipping on ice. Local man Bruce Rowell was driving by the fire when he stopped and rescued the dog.

�When I stopped and walked up to see if I could help,� Rowell said, �this woman was screaming about a dog still being inside the trailer.� He tried the door but it was too hot to open, so he went behind the trailer and spotted a dog leash fastened to the back.

�I followed it down and here was this large black dog ... cowering underneath the trailer and really afraid, so I pulled him out and away from both the trailer and a boat that was next to it,� said Rowell, a guitar player and singer with the well-known local band called the Wanderers.

Neighbor Wendy Wasmund said the dog is a black lab named Luke. �He seems to be fine,� she said, �but he�s very lucky that [Rowell] was driving by just then.�

In addition to responding firefighters from districts 13, Blaine police officers and U.S. border patrol assisted with traffic control and interviewed witnesses.