RENO - A Reno man died when his home was destroyed by fire at the Hillsboro Mobile Home Park on Starlite Drive Thursday evening.
The victim was identified as 67-year-old Steven Farley of 300 Starlite Drive.
"We found the victim in the living room area. It looked like he had tried to get out of the home," said Chief Dan Ritchey with the Reno Volunteer Fire Department.
Photo by Robb DeCamp
Units from three area volunteer fire departments responded to a fire in the Hillsboro Mobile Home Park on Starlite Drive near Reno in Washington County Thursday evening. The fire claimed the life of 67-year-old Steven Farley, who lived in the mobile home.
Neighbors said Farley lived alone.
"He was disabled - paralyzed on one side - and couldn't get around very well. But he was a pretty good guy. We used to mow the lawn for him," said Tracy Morris, who lives nearby.
Morris was having a cigarette near an open window in his own home when he saw smoke and flames shooting out of Farley's mobile home across the street.
"I ran over right away, but couldn't even get near the porch because flames were coming out the door," he said.
Jack and Jennifer Conant are Farley's next-door neighbors.
"I was in the house and saw a lot of smoke outside," Jack said. "My wife called 911."
The fire was reported at 5:06 p.m., according to dispatchers with the Washington County Sheriff's Office.
Reno VFD Capt. Ted Patterson was first to arrive at the scene.
"We were here in minutes, but the trailer was already totally engulfed in flame," he said.
Firefighters from Fearing Township and Williamstown volunteer fire companies assisted Reno VFD at the scene.
The blaze was quickly brought under control, although efforts were hampered by temperatures that dropped into the single digits as darkness fell Thursday.
"Our main pumper truck did freeze up," Ritchey said. "And we tried to keep water from freezing on the roadway by running it into a storm drain."
In spite of that effort, a glaze of ice had formed on the road leading into the mobile home park, creating slippery conditions for firefighters and their vehicles.
Ritchey said the damage was confined to Farley's mobile home, there were no other injuries, and none of the surrounding homes were endangered.
The cause of the fire had not been determined Thursday night, and the Ohio State Fire Marshal's Office had been notified.
Natural gas service was temporarily turned off to some of the mobile homes while firefighters worked to extinguish the blaze.
There are approximately 40 mobile homes in the Hillsboro Park.