FENTON, MO (KTVI)- A problem with a boat battery charging device leads to an overnight fire near Fenton, forcing a family from their home. It happened on Fieldcrest Drive off of Saline Road not far from Highway 30.
The fire started on a boat outside of a mobile home then damaged part of the home. Fire investigators are calling it an accidental electrical fire.
Crews from the Saline Valley Fire Protection District got the call just before 12:30 a.m. this morning.
The mobile home owner Sara Benson tells us her teenage son smelled smoke, woke her up and they called 911 right away. Family members say they were using what`s called a maintainer to keep their boat battery charged when the fire happened. The Saline Valley Deputy Fire Chief Joe LaPlant says the fire started on boat itself.
The family says authorities are telling them that faulty wiring inside the maintainer is likely to blame.
The fire not only damaged the boat but also an exterior wall of the family`s mobile home. LaPlant says flames did not get inside the mobile home but there is smoke and water damage in the home. Sara, her husband, their son and four animals all made it out safely and nobody was hurt.
LaPlant tells us the damage to the home combined with other issue that investigators found led authorities to deem the home unlivable until repairs are made.
The Red Cross is helping the family. For the time being they are staying with a neighbor.