Woodstock man perishes in trailer fire

A 29-year-old man died late Friday night after he rushed inside this trailer at 98 Wood Park Lane, Woodstock, to rescue his family.  Rich Cooley/Daily

A 29-year-old man died late Friday night after he rushed inside this trailer at 98 Wood Park Lane, Woodstock, to rescue his family. Rich Cooley/Daily

A fire in a trailer at 98 Wood Park Lane in Woodstock took the life of a 29-year-old man around midnight on Friday.

The widow of Michael Goodman said Monday that he died after he entered the burning trailer in an attempt to rescue her and their two daughters, all three of whom had already escaped to safety outside.

Donna Goodman said her husband didn’t realize she and the two girls, ages 5  years and 10 months, were already outside the building.

“I seen my husband run right through our front door,” Goodman said. “It was a wall of fire and that was the last time I saw him.”

Goodman said the fire, which destroyed the trailer, was caused by an electrical malfunction in a dryer the Goodmans had brought with them when they moved into the trailer Sept. 1. Goodman said the fire broke out after her husband had left the building to play pool nearby with a neighbor, whom she also described as his best friend.

She said she heard a noise and came out of her room to see smoke and fire coming from behind the dryer.

Goodman said her husband’s best friend, the man with whom he had been playing pool, also entered the trailer with him, but was able to escape moments later. She said the man had burns to his forehead, singed hair and a cut on his arm.

Shenandoah County Fire Chief Gary Yew identified the other man as Alan Campbell. Yew said in a written statement that Campbell was taken to Shenandoah Memorial Hospital for treatment of injuries and was later released.

Yew said firefighters from Woodstock, Edinburg, Toms Brook and Strasburg arrived at the scene to find the Goodman trailer and two others on either side of it on fire. EMS units from Woodstock and the county were also at the scene.

Yew said “extreme fire conditions” prevented firefighters from entering the Goodman trailer to save him.

Yew said one of the other trailers, at 94 Wood Park Lane, was unoccupied at the time of the fire. Another trailer, at 102 Wood Park Lane, was rendered uninhabitable by the fire, which forced three adults and two children to flee. Yew said the Red Cross was providing the occupants of 102 Wood Park Lane with a place to stay and meeting other family needs.

Yew said investigators canvassing the trailer park in the aftermath of the fire learned from other residents of electrical problems at the site. As a result, Yew said, a county building official condemned one other home at 75 Wood Park Lane until maintenance violations are corrected. He said occupants of the 75 Wood Park Lane home have obtained shelter through the Department of Social Services.

Yew said Donna Goodman reported that she did not have any insurance. He said anyone wishing to assist her and her children should call the Shenandoah County Department of Fire and Rescue at 540-459-6167.

Donna Goodman said she and her daughters are staying temporarily with her parents in Harrisonburg, but they need a more permanent place to stay.

Goodman said she appreciated the offers of assistance she has already received, but nothing can make up for the loss of her husband.

Goodman said she and her husband would have been married two years on Oct. 26.

“I appreciate everything, but I’d rather have him back more than anything,” she said.

Contact staff writer Joe Beck at 540-465-5137 ext. 142, or jbeck@nvdaily.com

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