A Moab mother says support from the community and several local businesses has buoyed her family after a June 17 house fire caused significant damage to the structure of their manufactured home and smoke destroyed most of their belongings.
“I can’t thank the people in this community enough,” said Bridget Horrocks. “I don’t know how to express how much I appreciate everything people have done for us.”
The fire, at the home of Joshua and Bridget Horrocks at 2554 Old City Park Road, occurred at approximately 3:49 p.m. on Monday, June 17. Firefighters were on the scene four minutes after receiving the call, and the blaze was extinguished by 4 p.m., according to information from the Moab Valley Fire Department. Five fire engines and 18 firefighters worked to put out the flames.
“It started in the vicinity of an electrical outlet, but the cause of the fire is undetermined,” said Moab Fire Chief Corky Brewer. “There was a lot of smoke, so I’m sure almost everything they had was affected.”
Bridget Horrocks said her husband and four children were at the home when the fire broke out.
“The kids said they smelled something burning but they thought it was dinner,” she said. “My husband jumped up saw smoke coming in through the air conditioner and when he went outside the side of the house was in flames. We had a hot water heater on fire. There was carbon monoxide coming into the house. The fire burned the electrical and the underside of the house.”
Horrocks said Fire Chief Brewer told her the family “must have someone watching over them from above.”
“He said that one more minute and they might not have been able to save anything,” Horrocks said.
The family, which includes six children ranging in age from 9 to 15 years old, has been staying part of the time at an apartment at the Aarchway Inn where Jason Horrocks works and also at her mother’s home in Moab, she said.
“The Aarchway Inn, the Moab Diner, Packard’s Distributing and other places have just been so great to us,” said Horrocks, an employee of Canyonlands Natural History Association. “I can’t thank them enough for everything.”
The family was able to salvage some clothing, but she said the 16 by 80 manufactured home is a complete loss.
“It would cost so much more to try to repair it than to replace it,” she said. “It’s going to take some time. But we’re just happy that everyone is safe and healthy.”
She said the family did not have homeowner’s insurance coverage, something she now regrets.
“I just didn’t get it done and I should have,” she said. “I kept waiting for quotes to come back and I should have just gone to another company for a quote. I should have pushed it.”
An account has been set up at Mountain America Credit Union in the name of Bridget Horrocks to raise money to help the family rebuild.
Last week, firefighters also responded to two other structure fires in Moab. A fire near 200 South and 400 East on the evening of Wednesday, June 19, was started by a “small child playing with a lighter in the grass,” said Phillip Mosher, spokesman for the Moab Fire Department. “The fire progressed up a wood fence and then into a shed. The fire destroyed the shed and a portion of the fence but never got to any other structures.”
Two firefighters at that scene were treated for heat exhaustion. The homeowner and one officer were also treated for smoke inhalation, Mosher said.
On the afternoon of Thursday, June 20, a fire was reported in an apartment complex at 590 Kane Creek Blvd.
“That one was pretty scary,” Brewer said.
A cardboard box was left on the stovetop and the stove was accidentally turned on and the occupant left the apartment, Brewer said.
The other apartments were evacuated until the blaze was extinguished. Because the fire produced a substantial amount of smoke, firefighters worked to ventilate the apartment where the fire occurred and the adjacent apartments to eliminate the smoke before residents were allowed to return, Mosher said.