Thursday, March 30, 2023

Travel Trailer Destroyed, Three Pets Dead, and a Family Displaced Due to Last Night’s Structure Fire in Cleone

These photographs were taken by Mary Jo Duffy and show the chaos of the scene as firefighters attacked the flames while high winds worked against their efforts

A disaster was averted last night by Fort Bragg Fire Department personnel after a travel trailer engulfed in flames threatened to spread to nearby adjacent mobile homes due to winds buffeting the scene. 

Fort Bragg Fire Chief Steve Orsi told us the fire on the 32000 block of Mill Creek Road in Cleone resulted in the total loss of one residence, the death of three family pets, and the displacement of the occupants. 

[Photo by Mary Jo Duffy]

When firefighters first arrived on the scene, the high winds coming off the Pacific were unleashing sparks all across the mobile home park, according to Chief Orsi. He said that resources worked hard to extinguish the travel trailer fully engulfed which damaged the exterior of an adjacent trailer and threatened another.

[Photo by Mary Jo Duffy]

Chief Orsi told us the mother and child awoke to find their trailer beginning to burn and were able to escape the structure but, sadly, the family’s three pets did not.

As to the cause of the fire, Chief Orsi said conversations with the homeowner indicated the inciting sparks likely came from a cigarette smoked on the porch of the structure sometime before the blaze began. 

The trailer is considered a total loss and the Red Cross is working with the displaced family to secure clothing and shelter in the wake of their loss. 

The travel trailer was destroyed and the next door mobile home was damaged as well [Picture provided by a Fort Bragg resident]

Chief Orsi said the fire is a lesson in how something as small as a cigarette butt can lead to disaster. With today looking even windier than yesterday, he asks Fort Bragg residents to remain vigilant and take caution.

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Matt LaFever
Matt LaFever
I like to think of myself as a reporter for the Average Joe. Journalism has become a craft defined largely by city dwellers on America's coasts. It’s time to take it back. I have been an Emerald Triangle resident since 2006 and this is year ten in Mendocino County. Please, email me at if you know a story that needs to be told.

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