A Payson man, who was living in a travel trailer parked in a local RV park, lost his home Tuesday to a fire started by an improperly operated heater.
Just after 7:30 p.m., firefighters from the Payson and Diamond Star fire departments arrived at the Mountain Shadows RV Park to extinguish the fire and prevent it from spreading to other homes in the park.
"Our firefighters did react quickly, and they did extinguish it before the structure completely burned down," Payson Fire Marshal Jack Babb said. "But everything in it all of the man's belongings was destroyed."
The trailer's owner and occupant, Santiago Dominguez, was not hurt in the blaze and is now staying with friends.
The Spanish-speaking homeowner told investigators through an interpreter that he'd been dozing when the fire started, and awoke to the smell of smoke. He discovered that his kerosene heater, which he said he'd filled with "white gas," had started his dining room table on fire.
Dominguez used a wet towel to move the heating unit from the table to the bathtub, but was unable to extinguish the fire and was driven from the trailer by the heat, he said.
There was no smoke detector in the home.
"I would let everyone know that they should use heating or lighting equipment in the manner for which it was designed," Babb said.