The Anniston Fire Department responded within ten minutes to the call it received about the fire.
Neighbor William Staggs made the call. He said he stepped outside of his house and saw smoke pouring out of the trailer’s kitchen window. Staggs said he rushed to the structure and searched it for victims before calling the fire department. No one was inside, and Staggs came away unhurt.
Staggs, a former volunteer firefighter, said he instinctively kicked in the door upon entering the trailer. But there was no real point, he said, for he had seen the door hanging open for days on end in the past and said the lock was probably broken.
“Anybody could have been going in there,” he said, noting that the trailer's previous resident had been gone for about three months.
Firefighters doused the blaze within a few minutes; soon Assistant Chief Tony Taylor was inside with his flashlight, inspecting the scene. It didn’t take him long to settle on a cause.
“It’s arson,” he said.