April 16, 2014 —
SHOHOLA TWP, PA — A fiery blaze swept through the Trails End community, destroying 17 trailers and causing a significant amount of damage, according to one witness and property owner who wished to remain anonymous.
The witness said there were loud booms from propane tanks exploding and “it was very bad.” The smoke from the fire could be seen across the Upper Delaware River from Tusten Mountain. The witness said that, in the aftermath of the fire, she met a man who was more than 80, who had been bringing his children and grandchildren to the place for decades.
The man began crying, which he said he had not done since his mother passed away. In speculating about the cause of the fire, he said, “We’re never going to get an answer.”
The witness expressed concern that it has been started by electrical wiring; she said she had seen an employee installing cameras at comfort stations recently.
A woman who answered the phone at the Trails End Property Owners Association said the office had no comment on the fire.
A post on the Trails End website said, “Effective immediately, there is a burn ban until further notice. No outdoor burning (leaves, campfires) is permitted. On April 10 there was a fire within Trails End. The fire affected 18 lots—all property owners that were affected have been notified. Please abide by the burn ban for everyone’s safety. Thank you.”
There have been issues with fires and access to the lots by town officials in the past. In 2008 fires destroyed three trailers and caused the death of a dog.
The Shohola Township supervisors at the time sent a letter to the Trails End board that read in part, “The fire that engulfed two recreational vehicles and partially damaged a third may have been caused by the overload of electrical current that was wired into the finished room which had insulation, air conditioning and electrical wiring and outlets installed in direct violation of Township Ordinance # 44 Section 528.16.”
There was a long-running dispute between the township and the camp over zoning and the complaints revolved around charges that property owners in the camping community have added permanent structures like enclosed rooms and illegal wiring to the trailers and recreational vehicles that rest on the lots. The two sides reached a settlement agreement in 2010.
The website says, “Trails End is a four-season recreational camping community in Shohola, Pennsylvania, located in Pike County on scenic Route 6... Trails End, incorporated in 1972, encompasses 400 acres with 1,851 lots. Each lot is approximately 4,500 square feet and RVs up to 400 square feet are permitted as well as campers.”