TheTimesTribune.com, Corbin, KY

July 30, 2013

Camper fire blocks northbound I-75 lane


TheTimesTribune.com, Corbin, KY

CORBIN — By John L. Ross / Staff Writer

A Washington man lost everything he owned in a fire along northbound I-75 Monday.

“Everything I had in the world was in that camper,” said Herb Wilson, 63, a native of Hixson, Tenn. but a resident of Washington. “I was going to see my sister for a visit.”

He crossed into Tennessee late Monday afternoon.

“Everything was going fine, and then all of a sudden I heard this ‘pop, pop, pop,’” Wilson explained.

He said he pulled it off the interstate — it was approximately at the 21 mile marker.

“I put it into park,” Wilson said. “But it didn’t stay in gear — it started rolling back.”

The camper, a 1978 Apollo RV, was also pulling a 1986 Honda CRX.

The car jackknifed against the RV, and it, too, eventually burned in the blaze.

“It started smoking,” Wilson said. “And then it just caught fire.”

He said he’d owned the RV about three months.

“I lived in that car (for some time),” Wilson said. “And then I got a little money and bought that.”

He was traveling alone and was uninjured in the fire.

“It’s all burned up,” Wilson said while watching the inferno. “I had pictures of my high school reunion party (on my camera) in there.”

Members of the Oak Grove Volunteer Fire Department arrived on scene to put out the raging fire, and Goldbug Volunteer Fire Department personnel were also on hand.

Also assisting at the scene were members of the Corbin Police Department, the Whitley County Sheriff’s Department, and Whitley EMS.

Several small explosions could be heard from inside the camper as it burned.

One lane of northbound I-75 was blocked in that area so emergency crews could battle the blaze. The road was reopened within an hour.

The RV was a total loss.