Susan Moen and Phil Saunders had just bought their RV in April and spent three months refurbishing their new purchase, reported the East Oregonian. They bought a carburetor, cleaned the fuel tank, installed a rug and vinyl in the interior, and painted it, Moen said. They just left home yesterday with plans for a week-long road trip visiting various family members in Boise, Lewiston, and Spokane.
On Wednesday afternoon they stopped for lunch at the Saddle Restaurant and Lounge in Pendleton. An hour later, Saunders started the RV to leave and smelled smoke, said Moen. He flipped up the engine cover in the interior of the vehicle and flames shot out, she said.
No one was hurt in the blaze. Moen grabbed her walker, her dog, Roscoe, and his leash, and Saunders grabbed Moen’s purse and his backpack before the flames consumed the rest of the RV.
Pendleton Fire Department interim assistant chief Greg Lacquement said the fire burned through to the rear of the RV and was likely a total loss.
Though an older RV – built in 1985 – it only had 38,000 miles on the odometer when they bought it, said Moen. She said it didn’t drive well at first because it hadn’t been used for some time, but that’s why they were refurbishing it. They had the air conditioning, heating and electrical checked out in Portland last week and everything appeared to be fine, she said.
They were planning to pack up Moen’s house when they got home to Portland, so they could rent it out and embark on a yearlong trip visiting national parks and museums.