Thursday, November 30, 2023


Video: Did fire department mess up on this RV fire?

By Chuck Woodbury
I am not a firefighter so I certainly can’t, with authority, question how the fireman approached this situation. But in this three-minute video it sure looks to me like he was terribly unorganized and wasted a lot of time before tossing any water on this blaze.

The pickup was already toast, but his efforts seemed focused on it rather than trying to save the fifth wheel.

What do you think?

Chuck Woodbury
Chuck Woodbury
I'm the founder and publisher of I've been a writer and publisher for most of my adult life, and spent a total of at least a half-dozen years of that time traveling the USA and Canada in a motorhome.



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Linda (@guest_52822)
4 years ago

OMG, Firefighter acted like they were afraid of the fire? Should have been hosing the camper first then back of the truck. Was he a rookie? Who would of ever thought the truck would roll down the road? That was just one bad day!

Kevin (@guest_52790)
4 years ago

There were certainly many errors. The first error appears that the responding fire engine should have been parked up hill from the fire. It did take a position to “protect the scene but should have protected the engine and maybe called for additional resources to protect the scene and for additional manpower. Second that neither the truck or trailer tires were blocked to prevent it from rolling. As the fire progresses brake lines fail, truck starts to roll. Secondly there appears to be a lack of manpower (firefighters (FF) ) at the scene. While it is possible it took two FF to operate the pump panel (truly doubtful) there should have been three FF at the scene. One on the pump (often called the engineer) and two on the hose. One operating it and one to assist and keep aware of hazards. Third (and might not have been avoidable) once the truck rolled over the hose…well the hose fails and another hose needs to be pulled (it didn’t help that the civilian vehicles drove over the hose). I’m not sure why traffic was allowed to proceed in the lane of travel and not stay on the shoulder. What started as a nightmare for the driver (and RV), certainly wasn’t dealt with very well by the fire dept. (The incident happened in South Carolina near Hiway 25 and 414) This should drive home the point that fire extinguishers should be carried by every RVer (and every vehicle) Yes, my truck caught fire in 2012, We were able to get the trailer pulled away)

Alvin (@guest_52778)
4 years ago

I sure in hell hope for one thing in my travels A. I never have a fire and B. if I do I don’t have those idiots on scene. It is hard to imagine incompetency topping this one!!!!!!!!!1

Mike (@guest_52769)
4 years ago

At a minimum, the owner should have had TWO fire extinguishers, one in the truck and one in his RV. There were also bystanders – noone else had a fire extinguisher? Seemed like there was a lot of flammable material INSIDE the truck too. by the time a fireman was in position, with a hose, the front of the RV was still not involved. Keystone cops….. Obviously the owner didn’t put the truck in park either. when he did get water running – he put it on the TRUCK, not the RV. Wow…. First thing I did on my trailer was install a extinquisher at both ends, just inside the doors. And I carry two in my truck.

Captn John (@guest_52754)
4 years ago

Never saw it take that long to get water going with our volunteer dept. Rookie?

Shirley Brown (@guest_145144)
2 years ago
Reply to  Captn John

So sad, the Fifthwheel camper should have been completely saved if the fireman had just started putting water on the back of the truck and the front of the camper. My mothers house caught fire on one end of a pretty long house. When the firemen arrive instead of going past the fire and putting the water on the fire from the end that wasn’t burning three quarters of the house would have been saved but instead they started putting water from the fire end blowing it to the rest of the house. To say the least the whole house burned down. These were young, volunteer fire fighters that did not have proper training. This was many years ago and you would think training would have improved in 2019.

Mike Sherman (@guest_52740)
4 years ago

His lack of urgency allowed for the fire to spread. That hose should have been charged up and operational within 30 seconds max. IMHO.

Don Kostyal (@guest_52723)
4 years ago

This is on a road way and the pick-up truck is a higher risk to the enviroment due to the fluids than the trailer which may indicate why the emphasis was placed on the truck.

Bill (@guest_52794)
4 years ago
Reply to  Don Kostyal

I disagree – the truck was already fully engulfed when the hose finally got charged and put in use, but the trailer has, at least, a propane tank, probably somewhere up front, and who knows what else. And did the firemen check whether there was anyone inside the trailer?

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