Fire damages Lake Poinsett campground

Local News

Many families have been dreaming about camping season, but some are facing a tough reality after an early morning fire on Tuesday. Investigators are trying to figure out how a fire started at a Lake Poinsett campground.

Early Tuesday morning, it tore through Sunset Campground that sits just behind the Dollar General along Highway 81. Fortunately, no one was hurt. A dog is injured but is recovering.

The fire destroyed campers, vehicles and even boats.

Rows of campers and RV’s are where families visit to get away from it all. But, where do you go when that place is gone?

“This is our first season that we’ve ever had, and just been here a few weeks,” Troy Thompson said.

Troy Thompson is from Crooks and spent an emotional day looking at the wreckage of his camper. He and his family worked hard to buy their little piece of Heaven only to see it go up in flames.

“It’s completely gone. Yup,” Thompson said. “Just to know we’re ok, but everything we enjoyed was right here.”

Hamlin County Emergency Management Director David Schaefer says someone reported a camper on fire at about 2:15 a.m. In all, it destroyed six campers, and significantly damaged three boats and multiple vehicles.

“This is unique. In my 32 years. I thought I’d seen it all,” Schaefer said.

Though they don’t know yet what sparked the fire, Schaefer says this morning’s strong winds made it difficult for fire crews. Multiple volunteer fire departments from neighboring communities came to help. Between a series of floods and months of pandemic quarantining, Lake Poinsett has had a tough time.

“Just seems like one thing after another, but people are pretty resilient,” Schaefer said.

Even though no one was hurt, it’s hard to get away from the fact that it’s going to take some time to emotionally recover.

“I don’t know how long that’s going to be. We probably won’t be able to be here this year anymore,” Thompson said.

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