Fire destroys mobile home

An apparent grease fire destroyed a Conover mobile home Tuesday, displacing a family of three and leaving them with nothing.

Firefighters responded to a reported structure fire at Lyle Haven Mobile Home Park off County Home Road in Conover. The blaze was reported shortly before 3:30 p.m.

Conover Fire Department arrived on the scene with three engines and a ladder truck to find a fully involved fire at trailer lot F3.

The trailer's occupant, Tyler Bryson, said he was cooking food on the stove when he left the kitchen to go to the bathroom. Bryson heard a "pop" and returned to kitchen.

"The next thing I knew, the whole stove was on fire," he said. Bryson grabbed his 1-year-old daughter, left the trailer and called 9-1-1. Bryson's girlfriend, who also lives at the house, wasn't home at the time of the fire.

Jerry Ramseur lives two trailers above Bryson in trailer lot F1. Ramseur looked outside and saw flames coming from a vent in the top of the trailer. He said the entire trailer was engulfed in flames less than a minute later.

Ramseur knew a baby lived in Bryson's house, and that's where his thoughts went when he saw the flames.

"The first thing I asked about was where the baby was," he said.

Bryson's daughter was fine, and Bryson's mother, Crystal Bryson, who also lives in the mobile home park, watched the child as her son spoke with firefighters about damage to his home.

Crystal got a call from her daughter about 3:26 p.m. alerting her that the trailer was ablaze. Crystal said she rushed to the scene as fast as she could and was glad to find no one was seriously injured.

Conover firefighters on the scene said the 500-square-foot trailer and its contents were destroyed. Burn marks showed from the building's exterior, and the glass windows were busted. Inside, the trailer was blackened, with contents soggy from water used to extinguish the flames.

"You cannot replace a life," Crystal told her son. "There are ways to replace the other stuff."

Several neighbors on the scene offered to help the displaced family, offering clothes and a place to stay, if needed.

About 20 people from Conover Fire Department, Catawba County EMS and Newton-Conover Rescue Squad responded to the scene. Bryson burned his hand trying to dump the frying pan and its contents, but his injuries weren't serious.

Conover Fire Department didn't determine an exact cause of the fire by press time. Damage estimates are being compiled.