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Fire destroys vacation home, RV

Staff writer

Nobody was injured, but a house and a recreational vehicle were destroyed by fire Aug. 3 at Eastshore. The cause of the fire was undetermined.

Marion Fire Department was paged to an RV on fire at 5:57 p.m., Fire Chief Mike Regnier said. The RV was behind a house at 2137 Schlotthauer, owned by Don Higgins of Peck.

Regnier said the RV was melted by the time firefighters arrived. Hillsboro, Lincolnville, and Tampa fire departments assisted with the call.

There was a fire hydrant available, but the water pressure was low enough that it was faster to fill tanker trucks directly from Marion Reservoir, he said. He said he thought the water system might be entirely gravity-powered without any pumps.

The fire spread across Higgins’ back yard to a house at 2138 Kruse, owned by Robert and Rita Goben of Derby.

“Both the motor home and probably the house are totaled,” Regnier said Thursday.

A shed sustained a small amount of damage in the fire.

It was unclear whether the RV was in a 20-foot wide easement between the properties. Even if it was, it would have been permissible, because only permanent structures are prohibited in the easement, Marion County Planning and Zoning Director Tonya Richards said.

Richards said the fire underscores the importance of zoning rules. In densely developed areas like Eastshore, fire can quickly spread from one building to another.

County zoning rules for Eastshore require a 10-foot rear setback, 6-foot side yard setback, and 30-foot roadside setback. Permanent structures may not be located within the setbacks.

The distance of both Eastshore and the county lake increase the dangers of fires because it takes extra time for firefighters to arrive, Regnier said.

Neither property owner lives at Eastshore full-time, nor was either owner present when the fire began, he said. It was dark out by the time the fires were extinguished, but there was no reason to think they were suspicious, Regnier said.

Last modified Aug. 11, 2011

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