Major blaze destroys many trailers at Obejewung Park

A devastating fire this past Monday evening at the Obejewung Tent and Trailer Park in Evansville saw many trailers and boats being destroyed. The Burpee-Mills Fire Department was assisted by both the Gore Bay and Central Manitoulin fire departments in putting out the blaze. Fortunately, no one was injured in the fire.

EVANSVILLE – It took the effort of members of three volunteer fire departments to put out a huge, devastating fire that destroyed many trailers and boats at Obejewung Tent and Trailer Park in Evansville this past Monday evening.

“As soon as I got by Ron Noland’s place (just down the road from the park road entrance road) you could see flames shooting through the sky and I knew we were in for a real dandy of a fire,” stated Jeff Middleton, fire chief for the Burpee-Mills Volunteer Fire Department on Tuesday morning. He explained that he had received call for the fire between 8:10 and 8:15 pm Monday evening. “When I saw all this I called (firefighter) Andrew Vokes and told him to get on the phone, that we needed mutual aid (additional fire department help).” 

“I believe it was Janis Hutchinson who had called 911, and the lady on the other end of the line told her ‘there is a lot of help coming’,” said Mr. Middleton. 

Both the Gore Bay and Central Manitoulin fire departments were on the scene to help the Burpee-Mills firefighters douse the flames. Duncan Sinclair, deputy chief of the Gore Bay Fire Department (which received a call at 8:22 pm) said that when he first saw the fire scene, “it looked like the videos we all saw with the Fort McMurray fires; it was raining hot embers everywhere. It is really, really lucky that the whole campground go down with the embers flying everywhere and the wind blowing like it was.”
It is estimated between eight and nine trailers and four boats were destroyed in the blaze. Luckily, there was no one in any of the trailers. As Mr. Sinclair pointed out, there were 20-40 propane tanks around including fuel tanks on the boats, campers with power and overhead power lines. The fire took place in, approximately, the middle of the park. 

As for a cause of the blaze, Mr. Middleton said, “I was talking to the Fire Marshal’s Office and the OPP (Ontario Provincial Police) and I told them that for the trailer that the fire originated from, the people who stay in it had left on August 28 for the summer, so the trailer had been completely shut down. If something was leaking or they had left something on, we would have found this in our investigation (after the blaze). The cause of the fire is unknown, but it is not suspicious.”

“It’s just lucky none of the trailers were occupied,” said Mr. Sinclair. He acknowledged the EMS crew members who were on standby at the fire, and the OPP.

“The fire started in one of the trailers and carried on from there,” said Mr. Middleton. “You could hear all kind of propane tanks popping and banging. And the wind was moving and blowing, it was tough.” 

A total of eight trailers and four boats were turned into rubble after a major fire took place this past Monday evening at the Obejewung Tent and Trailer Park in Evansville.

“I can’t say enough how happy we were with the Gore Bay and Central Manitoulin fire departments helping out. They did a really, really good job, and everyone performed their duties very well. Everyone was very professional and they all know exactly what they are doing,” said Fire Chief Middleton. “I was very happy with everything, and the way they helped out, with amount of manpower and equipment they brought to the scene.” He pointed out that in total, there were about eight to nine fire trucks and many firefighters on hand to put out the blaze. 

“This is a beautiful park, and it has been in the community for a lot of years,” said Mr. Middleton. “It is heart breaking to see something like this happen.”

Members of the Burpee-Mills Fire Department were on the scene of the fire until at least mid-afternoon Tuesday.