Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — A morning fire on Mallard Drive in the Suburban Acres Mobile Home Park in the Town of Lockport left a family homeless Thursday.
The residence and all of the contents of the manufactured home are listed as a total loss, according to the Niagara County Sheriff’s Office. The American Red Cross is assisting the homeowner, Jean Prosser, and his son, Prosser’s girlfriend and her three children. No one was home at the time of the fire.
“The house was completely destroyed. Unfortunately they lost everything,” said Assistant Chief Joe Fries who was first on the scene for Rapids Fire Co. “It’s something we have to deal with, but it’s harder around the holidays.”
Neighbor Wendy Lashenick told deputies that she was sleeping inside her home and was awakened by the smell of smoke. She saw smoke and flames coming from 161 Mallard Drive and immediately called 911.
When Fries pulled up in his own vehicle, there was smoke and flames coming out of the house. Rapids Firefighters arrived soon and used two attack hoses, one to fight the fire and one to protect the neighboring house.
Fries put out a second alarm and called in South Lockport, Terry’s Corners, Wolcottsville and the Clarance Center FAST team from Erie County.
According to the sheriff’s report, Lashenick told firefighters and deputies no one should be in the residence because the adults were at work and the children were at school. The girlfriend of the homeowner, Kristi DiMaro, came from her job and confirmed that no one was inside the house.
Prosser was at work. DiMaro’s two boys, ages 12 and 8, were at school. Her 2-year-old daughter was with her mother.
According to the sheriff’s report, Prosser said that he was the last one to leave the house at 7 a.m. The homeowner said that the wood burning stove was almost out, so he closed the door of the wood burner so it was just open a crack. Prosser thought it was going to be colder on Thursday so he turned the thermostat up to 68 degrees from 62 degrees.
Town of Lockport building inspector, Jason Thompson and Niagara County Fire investigators responded to determine the cause and origin of the fire.
Rapids firefighters were on the scene for about five hours, Fries said.
The entire contents were deemed a total loss. A damage estimate was not available.
No injuries were reported.
The Red Cross provides vouchers for temporary housing, food and clothing, according to Diane Sargent, volunteer with the Disaster Action Team. The family is expected to meet with caseworkers to work out a longer-term recovery plan.
Donations to the victims can be made to the Red Cross at 716-886-7500 or 716-435-7468.