A Fort Langley man made it out of a burning RV with the help of his neighbours and friends early Thursday morning.
Annie Prescott, being kept awake by her cat, was the first to notice the fire at the Lombardy RV Park on in the 9200 block of McBride.
She had glanced out her front door about 10 minutes earlier, and nothing was amiss. Then at about 1:30 a.m., she noticed a glow from the RV next to hers.
The side of the trailer was in flames, having gone from nothing to a huge fire in just minutes, said Prescott.
“I hollered,” she said.
She ran outside in bare feet and a tee-shirt and started pounding on the side of the trailer with a broom, trying to wake up the man she’s known and had as a neighbour for almost 10 years.
At about the same time, her neighbour Jesse Eberts had also woken up.
“I just noticed some flickering,” he said.
Flames were shooting up 10 to 15 feet high on one side of the RV, he said.
“I ran out, and I just started yelling to wake people up,” he said.
He tried the door, and found it locked. Eberts then decided to break it down.
“I just kept kicking the door, like four or five times,” he said.
The hinge finally broke, and inside the owner was just getting up, apparently woken by Prescott’s pounding on the other side of the trailer.
Eberts hauled out his neighbour and helped him away from the trailer.
His next move was to try to wake up anyone else nearby to get away from the trailer, which had propane tanks near the fire.
Langley Township assistant fire chief Pat Walker said three halls were called out to deal with the fire, which appears to have started with an oil-filled space heater inside the RV.
The owner is a lucky man today, thanks to his neighbours, Walker said.
“He was fortunate to get out, because they go up quickly,” Walker said.
Prescott, Eberts, and their neighbour Darlene Batista described how the flames shot up, scorching a tree behind the trailer and threatening to spread to the awning on Prescott’s RV.
One side of her home is now scorched and browned, and everything in her small side yard is at least slightly damaged.
The owner of the destroyed trailer managed to find some personal belongins and ID in the trailer, but has lost almost everything else, from his home to his clothes.
Eberts gave him some clothes, and the local emergency disaster relief service is providing a temporary place to stay and a voucher for some basic necessities of life.
Prescott said she doesn’t think her neighbour had fire insurance.