According to investigators, the furnace was a fixed, propane fueled furnace that was original to the mobile home in which the fire originated. The homeowner, whose home was not insured, reported having trouble lighting the pilot light on the unit earlier in the day. The male resident awoke at around 1 a.m. and found that the pilot light had gone out on the furnace again. After re-lighting the pilot light, he reportedly was watching TV when he began to notice smoke filling the home.
The resident immediately exited the structure and turned off the propane that fed the furnace. He told investigators that he attempted to extinguish the fire with a garden hose but realized quickly that the fire was growing out of control. The homeowner was able to go to a neighbors house and call 911.
Both homes had installed smoke alarms but none of them were operable due to dead batteries.