A single-wide mobile home in Richland was destroyed in a blistering fire Thursday night.
The resident, who neighbors said was elderly and dependent on oxygen, was taken by ambulance to Kadlec Regional Medical Center to be treated for possible smoke inhalation. His name was not available.
Dispatchers received several calls about the fire at 55 Compton Lane in the Richland Mobile Home Park shortly after 5 p.m.
Battalion Chief Curtis Walsh said firefighters arrived four minutes later to find the home engulfed.
Crews had problems getting water on the fire because the first hydrant they tried was dry, Walsh said.
"But that had no effect on the outcome. The trailer was already a total loss when we arrived," he said.
He said they could hear explosions coming from the burning home which they believe were oxygen tanks.
Neighbors saw the man who lived there escape from the burning mobile home.
"He had soot all over him and was just in his socks, with no shirt," said neighbor Jeff Sutphin. "That's the second trailer I've seen burn in 20 years. It's pretty scary, the first one was a fatal, I'm glad this one wasn't."
Sutphin and his mother, Sandra Harmon, live across the street. Joe Hissam of Richland was visiting them.
"We were watching TV and heard noises, metal banging, and looked out the window. That's when we saw the flames. We could already hear sirens so I grabbed my camera and ran outside," he said.
Paul Lepper, who has been manager of the park for six weeks, was taking his office assistant home when they passed the fire trucks.
"That's when one of my maintenance workerswho lives in this park called and told me about the fire. We whipped around and came right back," Lepper said.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
Richland firefighters were helped by crews from Benton Fire District 4 and the Hanford Fire Department.
w Loretto J. Hulse: 582-1513; firstname.lastname@example.org