Firefighters respond to an RV fire in Felton on Tuesday night.
(SLV Steve)
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‘Stranger than fiction’: Unrelated blazes engulf RVs in Felton 15 minutes apart; injuries, spread averted

Firefighters doused two fires reported within 15 minutes of each other Tuesday night and kept spread to a minimum in a Santa Cruz Mountains community on alert for wildfire danger.

Fire destroyed two recreational vehicles in separate incidents Tuesday night in Felton, with no injuries reported and with firefighters able to keep spread to a minimum in the Santa Cruz Mountains community on alert for wildfire danger.

Felton Fire Protection Chief Robert Gray said the blazes reported within minutes of each other were unrelated and that all occupants got out safely. Both fires were both quickly knocked down and posed no further threat Wednesday.

The first fire, called in around 9 p.m., engulfed an RV parked off of Felton Quarry Road, with a candle believed to have been the cause, Gray said. A woman and her dog escaped unharmed, and there was some spread to the adjacent wildlands.

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The second fire was called in about 15 minutes later at an RV park on Highway 9. A man was camping with his son and daughter-in-law and their children when he noticed smoke coming out of his RV. His son and daughter-in-law rushed to get the sleeping children out of their vehicle, which was parked next door.

“Just in the time it took [them] to go in, grab the kids, come out, the trailer was almost fully involved,” Gray said.

The RV in which the children had been sleeping did sustain some damage, while the vehicle in which that fire originated as well as the RV in the Felton Quarry Road fire were completely destroyed.

Gray said that total loss is not unusual for RV fires.

“With RV fires, once you notice them to the time that they are fully engulfed is usually a matter of two to three minutes,” he said. The lightweight materials they’re built out of are advantageous for towing but are also very flammable. “It’s kind of like it’s built out of kindling,” Gray said.

Gray stressed that the fires were “very accidental, both not related,” he said. “Typically I don’t believe in coincidences, but this is the kind of thing where truth is stranger than fiction. In 25 years of being on this department, I’ve never had two large vehicle fires at the same time.”

Cal Fire’s CZU unit and the Zayante Fire Protection District assisted on both incidents.