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Fire destroys camp trailer and everything inside except one thing that left crews amazed


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DUBOIS — First responders were called to a camper trailer on fire Sunday, but what they saw once the flames were extinguished is an unforgettable part of the story.

The fire broke out around 3 a.m. in the camper trailer that was parked at a rest area in Dubois. Clark County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Richard Lundberg told that when Deputy Brandyn Knight arrived, rounds of ammunition were popping off from the heat of the blaze. The parking lot was full of semis and trailers, and Knight immediately woke up the people parked next to the trailer to get them out of harm’s way.

Dubois Fire Chief Troy Stone then showed up with a fire truck but because it’s a volunteer fire department, Lundberg said the engine was only being manned by one person. Knight quickly grabbed the hose and started spraying the area. Within moments, Lundberg was on scene and first responders were trying to see if anybody was in the cab of the truck or the trailer.

“It was already fully engulfed,” Lundberg said about the trailer. “The propane tank’s release valves (connected to the trailer) were shooting flames clear up into the air … it was quite the scene.”

Clark County putting out camper trailer fire
Deputy Brandyn Knight trying to put out the fire that started in a camper trailer. | Courtesy Clark County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page

The fire lasted about an hour, according to Lundberg. Once the flames were out, he said crews drove their trucks over to use the headlights so they could take photos of the scene. That’s when they saw the American flag spare tire cover that was on the back of the burnt trailer untouched.

“Everybody that was there and the witnesses gathered around and we all stood there in amazement about how … everything was melted, including a lot of the metal of the frame of the trailer, and the flag was just there,” Lundberg recalls. “It was really cool.”

Lundberg said he’s read stories about similar instances happening to people, but he’s never witnessed anything survive a fire the way the flag did. Seeing the flag unharmed when it “definitely should have burned” is something that touched Lundberg.

“It was a reminder of how grateful I am to live in this country and get to serve along with people who respond to danger and put their lives (on the line) for people they haven’t ever met,” Lundberg said.

He added that thanks to the dispatchers, the first responders were able to take care of the fire as fast as possible.

“Our dispatchers were quick on the phone and were quick on getting responders there,” Lundberg explained. “If it weren’t for them, we wouldn’t have been able to see what we had there and be able to get people moved as quick as we did.”

Along with the Clark County Sheriff’s Office and Clark County Fire and Rescue, Clark County EMS also responded and transported two people to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries, Lundberg said.

Crews believe the cause of the fire was a malfunction with the camper’s refrigerator.

Clark county deputies next to flag cover
Deputy Lundberg (left) and Deputy Knight stand in front of the American flag spare tire cover that didn’t burn in a camper trailer fire. | Courtesy Clark County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page