Firefighters from Polk, Franklin and Towamensing townships fought a fire Tuesday afternoon that likely started with an electrical problem in a motor home.
Bob Proulx, 79, of 4780 Forest St., Towamensing Township, said that he saw the motor home parked adjacent to his home on fire and he called 911. He attempted to keep the siding cool by spraying water from a garden hose on the house. The home was a wood frame factory manufactured home on a full basement.
"I believe the fire started in the kitchen area of the motor home," said Proulx. "The fire was starting to melt the siding of the house so I used the garden hose, but I was no match for it. When the heat started getting in my face, I backed off."
Proulx, a former airline pilot of United Airlines, said that both the home and motor home were fully insured. Proulx said he retired from the airline in 1992.
Proulx lived in the home with his son, John. The men were not injured.
John Proulx said that the two of them escaped the fire with the clothes on their backs and a car. One of the firefighters loaned John a jacket to wear at the scene of the fire since temperatures were in the mid 40s at the time.
"I don't know how I'm supposed to feel," said John. "We realistically lost everything. We had several computers in there and everything is gone."
Bob said that he collected Pennsylvania state quarters and had other more valuable collections that were lost in the fire.
They had no pets living in the home.
Bob said that he had no idea if he would rebuild.
"I'll salvage what I can," he said."
"I might have them push everything down and go somewhere else," said Bob.
His daughter, Terri Moyer, of Brodheadsville, and her husband arrived on the scene when firefighters were beginning to throw smoldering furniture off the deck. She said her dad and her brother will stay with them.
"I'm just glad that it happened during the day and not at night," she said. "If it had happened at night, they might not have been able to get out."
Lynn Diehl, Franklin Township assistant fire chief, said that the home was fully involved when firefighters arrived.
"The fire started in the motor home and extended into the home. I think the basement has extensive fire damage. I'll know more after I talk to the home's occupants."
The American Red Cross of the Greater Lehigh Valley was called at 3:33 p.m. to assist the father and son. According to an announcement sent this morning by the Red Cross, the Red Cross provided meals, clothing and toiletry items to the residents. Lodging was provided by the family's insurance company.