Victim of Fatal RV Park Fire in Oregon Identified

August 23, 2011 by   - () Comments Off on Victim of Fatal RV Park Fire in Oregon Identified

The victim of a Saturday morning (Aug. 20) RV fire near Lebanon, Ore., has been identified as James William Waters Jr., 54, according to Sgt. Kevin Martinez of the Lebanon Police Department.

The Lebanon Fire District responded to the fire at 7:30 a.m. The RV was fully involved and two nearby RVs and an automobile were damaged by the blaze, the Albany Democrat Herald reported.

Waters lived alone in a small RV at the Lowe’s Trailer Court in the 400 block of Main Street. He was described as “someone who kept to himself.”

Neighbor Julie Lawhon and her fiance, Vern Clark, were getting ready to make a trip to Sisters when they heard Waters say, “better get the hose, it’s going to blow.”

Lawhon said the explosion rocked her 27-foot fifth-wheel trailer.

“It knocked Vern out of the bathroom and into the hallway,” Lawhon said. “I was lying on the bed and it shook me around.”

Lawhon said she and Clark ran outside in their pajamas in time to see a propane tank from Waters’ RV explode.

The fire spread to her trailer and the family lost everything except the clothes they were wearing.

“We didn’t even have our shoes on,” Lawhon said.

Lawhon’s son, Jordan, 21, also lives in the trailer, but was at work when the incident occurred.

A third trailer was damaged but is livable, Lawhon said.

The Red Cross provided the family with vouchers for a three-night stay at the Shanico Inn in Lebanon.

“We really don’t know what is going to happen,” Lawhon said.

Both she and Clark are unemployed and other family members do not have the means to assist them.

Martinez said that although the investigation continues, at this point it doesn’t appear there was any foul play, although the origin of the fire is not known.

Assisting the Lebanon Fire District with the case was the Oregon State Fire Marshal’s Office, Oregon State Police, Lebanon Police Department, Linn-Benton Fire Investigation Team, Albany Fire Department and Sweet Home Fire Department.

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