2 displaced after mobile home fire

CLARKSTOWN – A mailman making his rounds Wednesday afternoon through Fox Croft Manor on Route 442 is credited with alerting a family to a fire underneath their mobile home, according to Muncy Area Assistant Fire Chief Greg Delany.

As smoke spewed from Norman Egli’s mobile home, neighbor Drew Davis told a reporter, “Everyone is safe; that’s all that really matters.”

Egli, his girlfriend, Lori Budman, who occasionally stays at the home, and his 19-year-old son, Dakota, all made it out safely after the fire at 1635 Route 442 in Muncy Creek Township was discovered just after 3 p.m.

“Flames were shooting out a back window. There also was fire coming from underneath the trailer, by the (heating) fuel tank,” Davis said.

Davis quickly grabbed two portable fire extinguishers from his vehicles, handing one to Egli.

“We sprayed the extinguishers on the fire, but it didn’t even affect it. It would go out (for a second or two) and then flare right back up again,” Davis said.

“We tried to keep everyone back because we were worried that the tank might blow up,” Davis said.

Delany said the fire was believed to be electrical in nature and likely was sparked by heat tape underneath the mobile home.

“The fire started there and spread to a back bedroom,” he said.

Heat and flames also damaged a small shed next to the home.

“The fire spread very quickly. It was already through the house when firefighters arrived,” Davis said.

Volunteer firefighters from Muncy Area, Hughesville, Picture Rocks, Pennsdale, Clinton Township and Washington Township responded to the fire. The bulk of the fire was knocked down in about 30 minutes.

“It was very windy. We were concerned that the fire could have spread to another home,” Delany said.

The local chapter of the American Red Cross was providing emergency assistance for Egli and his son.

Egli had no fire insurance, Delany said. The damage estimate was expected to be at least $40,000.

Egli, who was believed to be staying with friends, was hoping to get another mobile home so he could stay at the manor, Delany said he was told.