FEMA Trailers….unsafe at any speed II

From Scout:

Via Dead Pelican

This is tragic

CARLYSS, La. (AP) – A fire has engulfed a FEMA trailer, claiming the life of a Cameron Parish evacuee who lost her home during Hurricane Rita. The victim had previously gone to the news media with concerns about the trailer’s safety. The fire’s cause is unknown.

The Calcasieu Parish Coroner’s Office identified the victim as 51-year-old Ellen Schools. Carlyss Fire Chief Jude Savoie says Wednesday’s fire was heavily involved when firefighters arrived.

Schools had expressed problems with the FEMA trailer in the past. In May, she spoke to Lake Charles television station KPLC about exposure to formaldehyde in the two-bedroom mobile home. She said the exposure was causing headaches, a sore throat and sinus problems.

According to the report, Schools said FEMA suggested that she open her windows to alleviate the problem.

A FEMA official had no comment about whether Schools had reported problems in the past. He did say, however, that a FEMA safety group is investigating the fire.

The formaldehyde problem in trailers was reported back in May (see previous post) At that time FEMA suggested this…

By fully opening windows and using air conditioning or exhaust fans, residents can ensure proper air ventilation in their homes,” Walker said.

It appears Miss Schools didn’t receive that advice. However that advice seemed problematic to me given the rash of fires and explosions in FEMA trailers (over 40 as of May) which was believed due to electrcal appliances like AC…

A recent outbreak of fires in FEMA trailers have sparked worries that the campers are risky to live in, especially when multiple electrical appliances are running at once.


Fire Protection District 10 Chief Quint Liner said he’s afraid the trend of FEMA-trailer fires will continue this summer when air conditioners will be at full blast.

I’m not saying this occurred in the fire reported above. The cause is yet to be determined. My point is the safety of these trailers can be questionable on several fronts. What are people to do in this heat if not run AC or a fan? Or if they are experiencing headaches and other symptoms? It would seem people are forced to take possibly tragic risks.