SOUTH HEIGHTS (KDKA) – The American Red Cross is helping several Beaver County families left homeless when flames ripped through a mobile home park over the weekend.

Firefighters could do little to stop a raging fire that quickly destroyed three mobile homes in the South Heights Mobile Home Park Sunday morning.

“An inferno. [It] took about five minutes to be completely up in flames. Then, it started catching on both the other houses,” Wesley Stiffler said.

Stiffler said a man, who lived in the trailer where the fire started, knocked on his door around 2:30 a.m.

Residents in three of the affected homes all got out safely. Intense flames destroyed a car and melted siding on nearby homes.

“We got out and soon, my husband says,’ Wake up!’ It’s like three o’clock in the morning. He says, ‘Emerge, emerge, get up!’ The whole house was like, engulfed,” Danielle Lightman said.

South Heights has no fire department. As a result, the community has to depend on the Ambridge Fire Department across the river.

When firefighters arrived, they couldn’t get any water from the fire hydrant across the street from the trailer park.

Firefighters could not tap into the water source because the threading on their hoses did not match the fire hydrants.

By the time they secured an adapter to connect the hoses, precious time had been lost.

“You had all the fire departments here and you couldn’t get [any] water? I just don’t understand that. If they had water, my uncle’s trailer would have been saved,” one man said.

“The firemen were great. They were doing everything they could, but they couldn’t get water. I don’t know if it was because of the sub-freezing temperatures, or what,” Charlie Godart said.

Godart credits firefighters for preventing the flames from spreading.

“The people that live in this park really, truly thought they were all just going to burn right down the row,” Godart said.

All of the residents in the trailer park were temporarily without water and electricity. Neighbors blame a faulty furnace, but the cause is still under investigation.

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