Man dies in mobile home fire


NAUGATUCK — Fire tore through a mobile home in Idleview Park and killed a man early Friday morning.

Police said 58-year-old Paul Kingman died in the fire at 7 Shadduck Road.

Naugatuck Assistant Fire Chief John DeBisschop said the fire was first reported at 1:24 a.m. by a resident on nearby Evelyn Drive who saw the fire through the woods. A second call came in shortly after from two people who lived in the mobile home and escaped the fire, he said. The occupants reported that Kingman was still inside a bedroom of the mobile home.

Police officers were the first on the scene. Police said the responding officers tried to enter the mobile home but they couldn’t reach Kingman due to the fire and heavy smoke.

DeBisschop said the fire department arrived on the scene about 10 minutes after the first call. The mobile home was fully engulfed in flames, DeBisschop said, and the fire was impinging on a 100-gallon propane tank.

Due to the heavy fire and the fact that the fire was closing in on the propane tank, DeBisschop said firefighters decided on an exterior attack to fight the blaze. He said firefighters initially cooled down the propane tank with the first water line, then the second line was used to fight the fire.

The surrounding mobile homes were evacuated as the fire burned, police said.

There are no fire hydrants in the area, which made fighting the fire more difficult.

DeBisschop said the department responded to the scene with three firetrucks, each with 500 gallons of water on them. The Oxford and Middlebury fire departments provided mutual aid and responded to the scene with water tenders, trucks that specifically carry water.

Beacon Hose Company No. 1 out of Beacon Falls provided mutual aid coverage at the firehouse.

DeBisschop said the bulk of the fire was out within an hour, but the fire wasn’t officially deemed under control for about an hour and 45 minutes because the home wasn’t safe to enter and ensure there were no hot spots. He said part of the mobile home’s roof collapsed.

Firefighters found Kingman dead inside the home.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to include the identity of the man killed in the fire.