WEATHERSFIELD - A fire at a vacant mobile home at the Suburban Mobile Home Park in McKinley Heights quickly spread to another trailer, forcing a father and his two small sons to evacuate their home on Thursday.
No injuries were reported. However, fire destroyed the vacant trailer on 11th Street and damaged the one next door that was occupied by Jason Peyatt and his sons, Riley, 3, and Damon, 1.
Peyatt's wife, Anastasia, was at work when the fire started around 1:30 p.m. His 11-year-old daughter, Kendra, was at school.
"I heard a loud noise and realized the window in the back of our trailer had broken," Peyatt said. "I looked outside and saw flames shooting up from the other trailer, and the grass was on fire. All I could think about was getting the boys out."
Peyatt said he went back into his trailer at 72 11th St. to rescue the family's two dogs and then again to retrieve the cats.
Fire crews from Weathersfield, Niles and Howland were on the scene for several hours, dousing hot spots. The State Fire Marshal's Office was called to investigate.
Tribune Chronicle photos / Virginia Shank
Firefighters douse hot spots at a vacant trailer fire at Suburban Mobile Home Park in Weathersfield on Thursday.
Peyatt and neighbors speculated that the cause was arson.
"Trailer fires go pretty quick anyway, but this was beyond that," he said. "To see the grass on fire like that and everything, I'm sure it was set."
Officials were concerned that the area would have to be evacuated because the fire grew quickly and was close to spreading to other homes. However, Weathersfield fire Chief Chief Randall Pugh said it wasn't necessary as the the fire was contained relatively quickly before it could spread beyond the two trailers.
Anastasia Peyatt said she received numerous phone calls on her cell phone at work, but didn't realize there was a problem until her husband called the business phone of the hair salon where she is employed to reach her.
"I was ignoring the calls because I thought people just didn't realize I was working, and I figured I would just call them back later," she said. "I had no idea."
She said that she and her husband bought the trailer several years ago. They let the insurance lapse when her husband, a laborer, was laid off from work.
"It's just been a really hard time," she said. "You work and you work and you just keep going. You do your best, and then something like this happens. It's so hard. I know I should be thankful. I am thankful. I'm thankful he got out and the boys got out. The animals were not hurt. But it's still so hard because this is our home and now I don't know what's going to happen."
Fire damaged the back of the Peyatts' trailer, mostly damaging the couple's bedroom. Peyatt said he hopes the trailer can be repaired, but to do so, a back section of the trailer, a window and the fuse box will have to be replaced. Meanwhile, the family has made arrangements to stay with a relative.
Pugh said he did not have the name of the owner of the trailer that was destroyed. He said he was told the mobile home had been empty for awhile and that the owner had been away.
"I'm just glad no one was hurt," said Nancy Banks, who lives in a nearby house. "There are so many children who live in this park and so many families. I saw the smoke and heard the fire trucks, saw them coming. I was so worried about the residents here. Like I said, I'm glad no one was hurt. But it's still very sad. It's sad to see someone's home damaged like that. I really hope it can be repaired. It's such a hard thing to see something like, for something like this happen to someone."