Custer fire sends man to hospital
A Custer man was in serious condition after a fire that engulfed a mobile home, motor home and two travel trailers Tuesday morning in rural Custer, fire authorities said.
Robert “Honda Bob” Stenger was in serious condition at St. Joseph hospital Tuesday afternoon, a hospital official said.
Division Chief Henry Hollander of North Whatcom Fire and Rescue said Stenger, who lived on the property, was outside when firefighters arrived and was immediately taken by ambulance to the hospital. Hollander said the man suffered critical burns.
Because of medical privacy laws, neither Hollander or the hospital could disclose specific information about Stenger’s injuries.
Cause of the 5:15 a.m. fire at 8181 Custer School Road was undetermined following an investigation, said Mitch Nolze of the Whatcom County Fire Marshal’s Office. He said a single-wide mobile home, a motor home and a travel trailer were destroyed – a second travel trailer sustained heavy damage.
Fire started in the mobile home, Nolze said, but its specific origin couldn’t be determined. Damage was estimated at $7,000.
Hollander said tender trucks, which carry a large volume of water, were required because the area isn’t served by hydrants. Units from Lynden Fire and Whatcom County Fire District 7 assisted.
Friends said Stenger, a mechanic, was well-known in the area for helping anyone in need.
“It’s so sad to see what happened to him,” said friend Wanda Mitchell.
“He’s one of those people that goes out of his way and helps people in trouble,” Mitchell added. “There’s so many people that he’s touched their lives.”
Mitchell said Stenger “lost everything” and wasn’t insured.