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Two Antioch area seasonal trailers destroyed

Antioch Fire Department Lt. Rich Meltzer (left) photographer Adam Zakroczymski inspect remains trailer fire DolphHarbor located 26222 W. Oak Avenue

Antioch Fire Department Lt. Rich Meltzer (left) and photographer Adam Zakroczymski inspect the remains of a trailer fire at Dolphin Harbor located at 26222 W. Oak Avenue on Grass Lake. | Thomas Delany Jr.~Sun-Times Media

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Updated: November 17, 2012 6:16AM

ANTIOCH TOWNSHIP — An electric heater is being blamed for a Monday fire at a seasonal trailer at Dolphin Harbor Marine that also totally destroyed a neighboring trailer.

“Fortunately, no one was hurt,” said Antioch Fire Chief John Nixon.

Firefighters received a call at 7:44 a.m., at 26222 W. Oak St., for a trailer fire. A steady northwesterly wind set the neighboring trailer on fire as well.

Total loss for both recreational trailers, at lots 43 and 44, was estimated at $80,000.

The owner of the first trailer told fire investigators he had used an electrical heater during the night and left it on while he and a friend went down to the dock to get the boat ready to pull out, Nixon said.

While they were there, they heard a pop and returned to the trailer to find fire coming out of the windows.

Nixon said fire crews could see a lot of smoke on their way to the fire so they also called for assistance from Fox Lake and Lake Villa fire departments to make sure they had enough pumper trucks. There are no hydrants in the area.

“The heater either tipped over onto the floor and ignited it or it was on for so long it started the floor on fire,” said Nixon. The fires were under control in 20 minutes.

Dolphin Harbor Marine, off Grass Lake Road west of Route 59, has about 40 seasonal trailers on site.

The owner of the trailer where the fire started did not want to talk to reporters. His next door neighbors, Gayle Gautreaux and her boyfriend, Rob Gangware, were saddened by the loss, but glad no one was hurt.

“We were closing it down Sunday, but the weather didn’t cooperate so we were going to go back Monday,” said Gautreaux. “Our neighbor called and said Dennis’ trailer was on fire and yours is next,” she said. They live 20 minutes away.

As they rushed over from their home in Round Lake, the neighbor called back. Gautreaux asked if it was still OK.

“She said, ‘No, it’s gone,’” said Gautreaux. “That’s how fast it happened.

“It’s a sad day. We lost a lot of things in the fire,” she said, including kayaks and a golf cart. “We’ve been there two years and we really like the people there.” Her trailer also had a three-season room.

“The fire department was johnny-on-the-spot,” said Gangware.

“They were awesome,” said Gautreaux.

Both had visited the site of trailer fires at Grass Lake Landing in June when a few trailers there also caught fire and burned to the ground. “It was scary,” she said.

“Who would ever think it could happen to you?” she said. “But we’ll be back. It’s a great place to vacation every weekend.”

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