Wednesday, 08 February 2023

Couple loses home in early morning fire

CLEARLAKE OAKS – A local couple lost their home to a fire early Wednesday morning.


Tony and Shirley Hibbs' doublewide mobile home, located at 486 Schindler, caught fire at about 4 a.m., said volunteer firefighter Eric Jones with the Northshore Fire Protection District's Clearlake Oak station.


Jones, who lives across the street from the Hibbses, said Tony Hibbs was alone at the house when the fire broke out, with his wife staying at her sister's home in Willits.


Tony Hibbs was up cooking bacon for breakfast when he briefly left the room, only to come back to find the kitchen on fire, said Jones.


Hibbs went to Jones' home to call for help, and Jones said he called firefighters. By the time Hibbs came for help, said Jones, the mobile already was fully engulfed in flames.


Fourteen firefighters – including all three Northshore Fire battalion chiefs and personnel from Clearlake Oaks, Lucerne and Clearlake, and Cal Fire – responded, said Jones, along with four Northshore Engines and a water tender and a Cal Fire engine, said Jones.


The fire was contained at about 5:30 a.m., said Jones.


The home was a complete loss, said Jones. “They basically lost everything that was in the house.”


However, firefighters were able to save two sheds on the property as well as Tony Hibbs' motorcycle, Jones said.


Jones said it was lucky that Shirley Hibbs wasn't at home. She has a back problem with resulting mobility issues, and Jones said he feared if she had been home rescuers may not have been able to get to her in time.


The Red Cross and neighbors are helping the couple right now, said Jones, adding that the Hibbses are discussing rebuilding, because they want to stay in the area.


He added that it's a particularly sad circumstance, as this isn't the first time the couple have suffered a major loss. A few years ago they lost everything in a flood while living in another area.


Jones said if anyone would like to help the Hibbses, they can forward donations to the Clearlake Oaks Fire Station, 12655 E. Highway 20, telephone 998-3294.


Over the holiday, there were no other home fires along the Northshore, said the district's fire chief, Jim Robbins.


A drier burned up in a Northshore residence on Tuesday but didn't result in a fire, he added.


Emergency personnel mostly responded to accidents and medical aid calls over the holidays, Robbins said. “We've been very busy with those.”


E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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