REPUBLIC – A quick response this afternoon by the Republic Volunteer Fire Department and a fortuitous arrival by the owner prevented a west Marquette County mobile home from being destroyed.

The fire at 273 Fourth Street was discovered about 2:30 p.m. Monday when owner Lorraine Mercier arrived at her home.  Mercier told ABC 10 that she and her daughter, Charlene Tapio, found the inside of the trailer filled with acrid smoke.

The elderly owner and her grown daughter called 911, grabbed two dogs and fled the home.

“I walked into the house and I said ‘Char the house is full of smoke’ and so she came in” said homeowner Lorraine Mercier who has lived in the mobile home for six years at Fourth Street and Kloman Avenue in Republic.

Mercier said her daughter was snow shoveling and came inside when she heard her mother yell.

“She went outside and it (smoke) was coming out from behind the trailer” that has been on that lot since 1976, Mercier told ABC 10.

“I was out in the front shoveling the snow,” said daughter Charlene Tapio. The smoke “was coming out right near the back door on the bottom under the trailer.”

“We called 911, got our dogs and got out,” Tapio said.

The home received moderate fire and smoke damage. The cause remains under investigation but is believed to be an electrical short, Tapio said.  Mercier and Tapio were offered a Pigs–N–Heat motel room. There were no injuries and firefighters spent more than a hour on the scene.

Mercier said Republic firefighters had to dig through deep snow in the rear of the mobile home and had to remove a 40-year-old unused antique air conditioner to get access to the underside of the trailer.