Neighbor, fire chief team up to halt blaze
CARO — An industrial-size fire extinguisher played a part in limiting the damage of a Thursday morning mobile home fire. The fire began at about 6:15 a.m. at 142 First St. in Caro Mobile Estates, which is just southeast of the intersection of Caro Road (M-81) and South Colling Road in Caro.
One of the first emergency responders to reach the scene was Caro Fire Chief Randall Heckroth. Heckroth, unlike most firefighters, does not respond to the fire department office when a call comes in. Instead, he drives his fire command pickup truck straight to the scene to make sure residents are out of harm’s way and assess the situation. When Heckroth arrived on scene Thursday morning, he spoke to the male resident who was outside, and the man said he was the only present occupant of the home.
The occupant told the fire chief that the fire was confined to a bedroom, so Heckroth grabbed the industrial 30-pound extinguisher he keeps in his truck and took aim at the blaze. He was joined by a neighbor of the residence, who came armed with a 10-pound extinguisher, Heckroth said. “I want to thank the neighbor who helped out,” Heckroth said. “We were able to stop (the fire) in its tracks and keep it from spreading until the engine arrived.” Firefighters used hoses to douse the remaining flames.
Heckroth said the fire likely was electrical in nature, starting outside a bedroom before working its way inside. The damage was limited to the bedroom and specifically to a single wall of the mobile home. He surmised the resident would have to make other living arrangements for a short period of time until the home’s electrical system is repaired and the hole in the wall caused by the fire is replaced.
Heckroth praised Caro business Holloway Fire Protection Inc. for keeping area fire extinguishers ready for use. “They always have everything ready to go,” he said. “The engines usually take a few more minutes to get (to a fire scene), so a lot of times the first line of attack is with a fire extinguisher. “And I’ve never had one fail me yet.” The Caro Fire Department was assisted by the Mayville Fire Department.