Three children died and three others were injured in a mobile home fire in Carrington, ND on February 25. Alex Tufte, 11, Melody Tufte, 8, and Spencer Tufte, 7, perished when their home, located in the Westside Trailer Court, was engulfed in flames.

Their father, Brandon Tufte, was airlifted to the burn unit at Regions Hospital in St. Paul, MN. Their mother, Dawn Tufte and Garrett Phillips, 29, a roommate, were treated and released from a local hospital. A GoFundMe page has been created to help the family.

As the community of about 2,000 comes together to support the family, investigators are working to determine the cause of the fire.

Mobile Home Fire Information

Between 2007 and 2011, an average of 434 injuries and 206 deaths from 11,400 fires in manufactured homes were reported each year, according to the National Fire Protection Association. The fire death rate for manufactured homes of all ages is about the same as other one-family or two-family homes. However, the fire death rate for manufactured homes built before standards were created by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in 1976 is 57 percent higher than homes built since that time.

A main source is home appliances. In some cases, the appliance explodes or starts on fire because of a defect in design, manufacturing or maintenance. With gas appliances, there can be a leak. The gas can form an invisible cloud in the mobile home and easily ignite, causing an explosion and thermal fire.

With mobile home fires, it is also important to determine if the materials used to build the dwelling were up to code. Federal and state laws outline safety requirements for manufactured homes.

What if it was Rented? Can a Landlord be Sued?

If the mobile home was rented, the landlord (owner) may be legally responsible for personal injury and wrongful death caused by the fire. It is important to get a lawyer on your side as quickly as possible. Your lawyer will determine who can be sued and for how much. He or she will generally conduct an independent investigation of the fire and take immediate steps to build a winning case. It is extremely important that you get a lawyer who has won large settlements in fire and burn cases.

Attorneys Fred Pritzker and Eric Hageman recently won $10 million for a man who suffered 3rd-degree burns on over 50 percent of his body. They have also won large settlements for families with wrongful death claims , including $3 million in a case involving a fire in an apartment building. Fred and Eric have been named “Super Lawyers” every year since 2004.

To contact Fred and Eric for a free, no-obligation consultation call toll-free 1(888) 377-8900.

Mobile Homes
Mobile homes may use propane gas. If so, there is a risk of explosion if the tanks are not properly filled or maintained by the company responsible.