Investigators say a fire this week that destroyed a Monmouth mobile home was arson.
Sgt. Ken Grimes of the state fire marshal’s office said Thursday that the fire at West Village Trailer Park was intentionally set. He said the fire started on an outside porch.
Grimes declined to say whether there were any suspects in the case, but he said nobody had been charged.
“We do have some more work and some more interviews to do,” he said.
Monmouth Fire Chief Dan Roy said shortly after the fire that the Red Cross had been called to help provide clothing and shelter for the home’s owner and sole occupant, Charles Reed, a retiree in his 60s. Grimes said Thursday, however, that Reed was seeking medical attention for a condition unrelated to the fire.
Reed was able to escape without injury. The home was destroyed.
A neighbor reported the fire shortly before 1 a.m. Wednesday. The first firefighters arrived at the park, located at the intersection of U.S. Route 202 and Blue Rock Road, to find the home engulfed in flames, Roy said. Firefighters, confident the home was unoccupied, focused their immediate attention on protecting homes on either side of the burning structure. Roy said the fire was under control in about an hour. Firefighters spent a couple more hours dousing hot spots and picking up their gear before leaving around 4 a.m.
Firefighters prevented the fire from damaging nearby homes, Roy said. Reed’s car, which was parked in the driveway, suffered heat damage to the front grill area but is salvageable, Roy said.
The home was equipped with working smoke detectors, but Reed discovered the fire before they sounded.
“He was awake at the time,” Roy said.
About three dozen firefighters from Leeds, Wales and Winthrop joined Monmouth crews in fighting the fire, Roy said.
Craig Crosby — 621-5642 [email protected] Twitter: @CraigCrosby4