03/26/12 — Cause determined in Eureka fire

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Cause determined in Eureka fire

By Gary Popp
Published in News on March 26, 2012 1:46 PM

FREMONT -- An unattended candle was the cause of fire that burned down a double-wide trailer home near Eureka on Friday morning, officials say.

The home's resident, Thomas Pate, was the only person in the house, located at 1136 Stan-Ray Road, when the fire began, Eureka Volunteer Fire Department Chief Mike Brock said.

Brock explained that it appears as though a candle set fire to the box it had been left on. The fire spread to a mattress, and then to the floor as Pate attempted to pull the burning mattress from the home.

Pate left the home before Eureka firefighters arrived about 7:45 a.m., but was later picked by Wayne County EMS and taken to Wayne Memorial Hospital for treatment of smoke inhalation, Brock said.

Pate was released from the emergency room Friday, hospital officials said.

Brock said Pate inhaled smoke when he went back into the home in attempt to extinguish the blaze.

With no one at the property and only a burned mattress lying outside of the home on the firefighter's arrival, there were several unanswered questions for firefighters, officials with Wayne County Office of Emergency Services and the Wayne County Sheriff's Office to piece together.

"When we arrived there was nothing to go on," Brock said.

He said after the fire was put out and an investigation was conducted it did not appear suspicious.

"After talking with Mr. Pate and looking at the evidence that was there it was determined everything checked out," Brock said. "The way everybody worked together, it went very smoothly. Just like we train for."

Firefighters estimated the loss of the structure and its contents at $60,000.

Firefighters from Eureka, Fremont and Faro department cleared the scene about 10:45 a.m.