Reporter: James Gherardi l Videographer: Levi Washburn
Rustburg, VA - A Rustburg man was left in intensive care Tuesday night after suffering from smoke inhalation and burns when his mobile home nearly burned to the ground.
Jeff Bryant and his son Nicholas were both home when the fire broke out. The home is a complete loss.
Firefighters say the blaze at the Twin Oaks Mobile home park was intense. It broke out around 4:30 p.m. Neighbors say it began with a boom.
"He was sleeping in the bedroom and Nick woke him up saying he'd heard an explosion and there's fire," said Douglas Pendelton, a friend of Bryant.
"All you could see was smoke billowing; you couldn't even see the trailer," said one neighbor.
A close call for a man and his son, in what fire officials are saying was such a severe fire, they couldn't get in the home when they arrived.
"The heat from the fire will also get to you. Where we're standing here, roughly 75 feet away, it was very difficult to stand here when we got here," said Steve Ripley of the Lyn-Dan Fire Department.
Jeff Bryant's friends say he was in his bedroom that sits next to a propane tank. One that's now charred and crumbled in the backyard.
"That back bedroom, you have no escape from it because where his fire was is on the back deck and it came into the kitchen. So it was a good thing his son was there to wake him up is all I can say," said Pendelton.
Just minutes later, the house was engulfed. Crews fighting this fire in the near 100 degree heat had to deal with every element. If the heat wasn't a concern enough, officials were worried about remaining gas tanks.
"There's propane cylinders involved, so we had to make sure that everybody was safe from that; and then just making sure that everybody's hydrated. Continue drinking water, taking breaks, working for 30 minutes and then taking a 20 minute break if we can," said Ripley.
It took crews about two hours to put the fire out. The Campbell County Fire Investigator will be looking into the cause.