By KATIE SCHWENDEMAN
WINONA - The woman whose camper home on Winona Road caught fire Saturday night had only lived there a few weeks, Winona Fire Chief George Brantingham said Sunday.
Freddie Holley was renting the camper home owned by Barb Weikart-Kuder and moved in only a few weeks ago. Like others living there at Stoneridge Terrace, she moved to the area because of her job with an oil and gas company, Brantingham said.
The Stoneridge Terrace camper homes surrounding the small lake just off Winona Road are all owned by Weikart-Kuder, owner of the Stoneridge campground, which is also a KOA campground, he said.
Holley was across the lake from her home at 33815 Winona Road when it caught fire shortly after 9 p.m. Saturday. Her two pet dogs and their puppies were inside, and one dog did not survive.
"She lost everything but a few handfuls of clothes. She had everything in the kitchen and dining room area, where the bulk of the fire was," the chief said.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation, but Brantingham said he believes it originated in the kitchen area at the front of the home.
Even though the Winona Fire Department was on scene in only seven minutes, the home was a total loss.
Camper homes and a tree only a few feet from Holley's on either side were not affected by the fire and a large propane tank at the back of the home was disconnected by firefighters as soon as they arrived.
Roughly 25 firefighters from the Winona and Hanover Township's Guilford Lake station used water from the seven engines on scene, and also pulled water from the lake to extinguish the blaze, he said.
While the flames were knocked down within minutes, firefighters remained on scene until 11:30 p.m.
The Hanover Township Fire Department also responded for mutual aid and remained on stand-by at the Winona fire station.
Brantingham said Weikart-Kuder does have insurance on the camper home.