Weatherford Democrat

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July 14, 2013

Attorney raises issues with fire marshal documentation

By CHRISTIN COYNE

A lack of record-keeping at the Parker County Fire Marshal’s Office has left a Parker County man and his wife, made homeless after a fire last summer, essentially unable to pursue legal avenues to recover their losses, according to their attorney.

Hurst attorney Randy Hall, representing 52-year-old Allen Wickham, the owner of a travel trailer that caught fire when a friend’s home burned last summer, said he is having trouble getting any answers from the Parker County Fire Marshal’s Office about the cause of the fire despite closure of the investigation. 

Parker County Fire Marshal Shawn Scott said that although he would like to be able to devote more time to fire investigations, his office stays too busy to do a complete report on every fire the office responds to. 

They have provided Hall with all the documentation they have on what the investigator considered a lower-priority accidental fire, according to Scott. 

 

House fire

The couple’s only home was parked on a friend’s property in the 7000 block of Christopher Drive in northern Parker County and was destroyed the night of Aug. 6 when a structure and grass fire caught the trailer on fire. 

Responding ESD No. 1 firefighters reported they found a two-story house fully involved, with a camper trailer beginning to catch on fire due to exposure, as well as a large pit/grass fire in the vicinity of the house, when they arrived around 10:45 p.m.  

Wickham, a disabled veteran, was not home at the time of the fire and his wife, who is deaf, realized what was going on when her dogs began barking and was able to get out of the camper without injury. 

The fire destroyed the travel trailer, leaving it uninhabitable and irreparable, according to Hall, who said all the contents burned up, as well. The destroyed trailer was not insured, leaving the couple without a home or belongings and financially devastated, Hall said. 

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