It’s a brand new year but the first caravan park fire of 2018 has already been reported.
A blaze in a permanent caravan at Shoalhaven Heads in New South Wales cut a family’s holiday short and required two fire crews to extinguish.
The South Coast Register reports that there was no one inside the van when it caught alight on New Year’s Day, and no one was injured.
Fire crews suspect the fire broke out in the laundry, caused by an electrical fault. The fire is believed to have started after a small solar panel charger short-circuited.
Duty officer Ross Smith told the Register that people should get their van’s electrical system checked regularly, and be safe while cooking in caravans.
“Particularly during the holiday season, people decide to cook something and walk out,” Mr Smith said. “Just like your kitchen at home, it’s dangerous to leave while cooking.”
While fire regulations are very tight in parks, the fact that caravans invariably carry gas bottles and are commonly parked very close to each other, the prospect of a disaster is always there.
There were an alarming number of caravan fires last year. They included a caravan being destroyed by a fire in the northern NSW town of Murwillumbah; six caravans being destroyed as flames swept through a van in Kilcoy, Queensland; a caravan being gutted by fire at a park in Bauple, also in Queensland; and in Katherine in the Northern Territory, a grey nomad couple’s caravan caught fire and was destroyed after they parked outside the town’s Visitor Information Centre.