CRANBERRY TOWNSHIP (KDKA) – Thick black smoke could be seen for miles around Cranberry Township Sunday afternoon.
A fire broke out in a 30-foot mobile home parked inside the Rent-A-Space storage facility on Dutilh Road around 1:30 p.m.
Owners Lori and Pete Sewchok went there to start the engine when something went wrong.
“We were trying to start our motor home and used a little bit of ether and the engine caught on fire. Our fire extinguisher did not work –the one we had in our motor home. So, I ran up to the office to borrow one and by the time I got back the motor home was fully engulfed in flames,” Lori Sewchok said.
Pete Sewchok tried to put the fire out, while his wife went looking for a fire extinguisher.
“The plastic burned so quickly. By the time she came back with it, the whole front of the thing was burning,” Pete Sewchok said.
By then, the fire had spread to a trailer parked a few feet away. Firefighters could do little to save the vehicles, but they kept the fire from spreading.
“We pulled up and it was two trailers, both of them well-involved and we proceeded to extinguish the fire,” Cranberry Township Fire Department Lt. Jeff Gooch said.
The couple came back to the scene when the fire was over.
Sewchok found the starter fluid that sparked the flames. The fire destroyed the motor home and thousands of dollars worth property inside.
“Electronic equipment, TVs, microwave, a refrigerator. You could live in it. In fact, I did live in it for a while. I lived in North Carolina for a while and it was my home,” Pete Sewchok said.
Unfortunately, the motor home was going to play an important role in the couple’s future retirement plans.
“We had hoped to both quit our jobs and just travel around, but this is certainly a setback in that effort,” Lori Sewchok said.
Pete Sewchok suffered some minor burns on his hands and arm and although the home is a total loss, the couple is glad no one was seriously hurt.