Good Samaritans provide support after heirloom camper catches fire


by Nettie H. Francis Davis Clipper CLEARFIELD—When a camper trailer caught fire and burned on the side of I-15 last month, some good Samaritans saved the day. The Davis County family, returning from their vacation to Yellowstone, heard a loud pop as they were heading south just past the 650 North on ramp. “We immediately pulled over and saw flames coming from our wheel well,” explained the driver, who wished to remain anonymous. He and his son tried dousing the smoke with water from their vehicle, but the flames continued to grow. After retrieving a fire extinguisher from the camper, he tried that method as well. However, due to the hot, dry conditions, the flames and smoke grew. “We immediately called 911 and told our seven children to get out of the car,” said the mother. As the flames increased, several cars stopped to help. One truck driver tried smothering the flames with his fire extinguisher, but wasn’t successful. “When he could see that the fire was still growing, he turned the foam onto the end of our car,” said the dad. Several onlookers helped to quickly unhook the vehicle from the camper trailer and move it to a safe distance. “We watched the flames shoot up the side of our camper in just minutes. They also spread through the dead grass on the side of the road. It was a literal wildfire.” The Clearfield Fire Department responded and soon several engines arrived on the scene, but not before the fire had burned a large section of the freeway shoulder and the camper was damaged beyond repair. “It was so relieving to see the firemen arrive and know that the situation was finally in hand, but it was heartbreaking to watch our camper go up in smoke, and realize that our clothes, camping gear, and personal items were all inside. I can’t even imagine the devastation of experiencing a house fire,” the mom said. The camper trailer was an heirloom, owned since the grandfather of the family (now deceased) bought it in 1957. “It was part of our family heritage,” the father said. “My Grandpa bought it brand new and my cousins; siblings and I all have many, many memories of vacationing as a family. We can’t even count the miles on it. They went all over the western U.S. seeing the sites with their children and grandchildren. The camper was in great condition, with original wooden doors, cupboards, even the original awning. Money can’t replace an heirloom.” “We are so grateful to the firemen and the people who stopped to help,” added the mom. “We were distraught and my children were inconsolable as we watched everything burn, but many good Samaritans were there to help us.” One car pulled over and simply tossed out a bag of snacks and water to the crying children. Several people stopped and hugged the family, giving comfort and asking how they could help. “One couple came simply because they recognized our family vehicle from the neighborhood. Another anonymous couple stayed with us for over an hour, until the tow truck took the burned remains away and we were back on the road.” “We’re thankful that we had one final wonderful memory in our camper,” said the dad. “This experience is heartbreaking, but it has given us a renewed sense of hope in humanity.”

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