After turning on his stove to heat a pot of water, Martin Galindo left his 1969 vintage travel-trailer home for a few minutes to visit his son across the street. When he returned, his home was in flames.
Fire crews from Payson and Diamond Star responded to the blaze just after 8 p.m. Friday. They were able to stop the fire from spreading to neighboring mobile homes in the Mountain Shadows RV and Mobile Park at 609 S. Colcord Road.
According to police, Galindo, 41, said he only left for 10 minutes. During that time, neighbors reported they heard several quick, loud popping noises that sounded like explosions.
The blaze completely destroyed the travel trailer.
While the stove was left on, Payson Fire Marshal Mike Winters said it might not have been the primary cause of the fire.
"There was really not much damage around the stove," Winters said. "In fact, there was a roll of paper towels right next to the stove that wasn't even burned. Right now, my guess is that the electrical supply to the trailer was set up in such a manner that it was not done the way it was supposed to be. (Galindo) had what appeared to be a 220-volt outlet with a 110-volt cord rigged into it to supply power to the trailer."
Winters commended neighbors who used a garden hose to initially suppress the fire, and the fast response from Payson and Diamond Star crews.
"They did a great job containing the fire. There was a truck parked right next to the trailer and it didn't even get burned."
The official cause of the fire is still under investigation. Winters said this blaze was the second in the Mountain Shadows RV and Mobile Park in two years.