NORTH FORK — A fire that burned a motorhome to the ground and closed Road 222 has left investigators perplexed as to what happened to the occupants.
Just before 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 24, firefighters responded to reports of a motorhome on fire on Road 222 a couple miles north of Kerkoff Reservoir.
When engines arrived on scene, they found a Class 3 motorhome fully engulfed in flames. It was pulling a 20′ 2-axle utility trailer full of household items, and had jackknifed in the middle of the road, blocking both lanes.
A North Fork resident who was headed back from the Auberry area saw the flames from the other side of the river canyon, and when he arrived at the scene of the fire, found no one around, but there were three propane bottles sitting beside the road behind the burning vehicle.
A man who lives nearby said they could smell smoke at his house and his dogs were going crazy, so he hurried down to the investigate. As soon as the first engine arrived, he warned firefighters about the propane bottles, and then set off with a flashlight to see if he could find anyone in the surrounding woods.
As more firefighters arrived and got the flames knocked down, they also attempted to locate anyone who might be injured or in need of help, but the occupants of the vehicle were not located, and it was determined that no one was inside the charred remains of the motorhome.
The RV was completely destroyed, but the trailer didn’t burn, and the fire did not spread into the surrounding vegetation.
CHP determined that the RV was registered to someone out of Fresno, and the trailer to someone in Friant. Who was actually driving remains a mystery at this hour.
Cal Fire Engines 4254 and 4255 responded to the incident, along with Madera County Fire Engine 11 and Water Tender 18 out of Cedar Valley.
Road 222 remains closed as of 10 p.m., but a large tow truck is en route. The incident remains under investigation.