Fire Destroys Camp on Thanksgiving

By Lura Jackson


For many, the holidays are a celebratory time of year, but for one resident of Cooper, Thanksgiving proved to be a devastating loss. A camp on the appropriately-named Camp Road caught fire at approximately 6:10 p.m. following a cooking accident; within four hours the two-and-a-half story camp and its attached garage were both destroyed.

The resident of the camp was deep frying a turkey in his garage at the time of the incident, according to Alexander Fire Chief Ed Burgess. The deep fryer boiled over and caught the roof on fire. “Those [deep fryers] are dangerous,” Burgess said. “You’ve got to stand over them all the time and keep an eye on them.”

35 volunteer firefighters from nearby communities responded. Alexander was on the scene with two engines and two tankers, Meddybemps brought one engine and one tanker, and Charlotte brought two engines and one tanker. Despite the rapid and thorough response of the firefighters, the camp was a total loss, Burgess reported. No injuries were suffered by the resident or the firefighters during the blaze.

“It’s sad, especially at this time of year,” Burgess said. Nor is it an isolated incident: according to federal statistics, more than 2,000 fires occur on Thanksgiving every year, most of them related to cooking – particularly deep frying turkeys. See photo on page 25.