Firefighters extinguish RV blaze at Pass Road park

Two Biloxi firefighters were knocked to the ground and narrowly escaped serious injury this morning when an explosion occurred inside a recreational vehicle where they were fighting a fire.

Fire Chief David Roberts called the episode “a reality check,” reminding firefighters just how dangerous their jobs can be.

The incident occurred at Majestic Oaks RV Park on Pass Road, where three fire trucks and 17 firefighters responded to a report of a passerby seeing smoke coming from a RV shortly after 6:30 this morning.

The first firefighters on the scene found smoke billowing from an unoccupied RV near the center of the upscale park.

“They went into the RV and attempted an interior attack, which they sustained for about 10 minutes,” Battalion Chief Joe Boney said. “It was having little or no effect from my vantage point, and frankly it appeared as if the situation was deteriorating. It was at that point I decided to pull them out and go into a defensive attack, fighting the fire from the exterior.”

It was seconds after the evacuation order, as the two firefighters were exiting the RV, when the explosion occurred.

“It kind of blew them part of the way out of the RV,” Boney said. “They were not injured. It scared us all pretty good. They were checked out by AMR at the scene and released back to duty.”

The explosion or “flashover,” Boney said, was the result of super-heated gases inside the RV reaching their ignition point

Firefighters extinguished the blaze minutes after the explosion, which blew out windows of the vehicle and tore a six-foot vertical gash midway down the driver’s side of the vehicle. The vehicle was destroyed, firefighters said, and cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Boney, meantime, was thankful for the firefighters’ training and safety equipment.

“I firmly believe that the reason that none of these guys was seriously injured is because of the safety precautions that we had in place and were using,” Boney said. “And the gear that we use meets a standard that is higher than most departments typically require.”

Online photos: To see nearly two dozen photos from the aftermath of the RV fire, click here.