MILFORD TOWNSHIP, Ohio – It was a scary situation for Butler County firefighters Tuesday when flames broke out at a home of one of their own.
Officials said Steve Smith was at work as a fire destroyed his fifth-wheel trailer.
Smith said the trailer, which sat on his family's property, may not have been a palace, but it was certainly his castle.
"I don't need much,” Smith said. “I just need a place to eat, sleep and shower. That's it."
Smith's coworkers initially feared the worst: They thought he was still inside the trailer because his blue truck was parked outside when fire crews arrived.
"It hypes you up pretty good,” Milford Township Fire Chief Corby Hansel said. “Your heart kind of sinks. You hope and pray to God that he's not in there."
Smith was not in the trailer.
Usually he takes his blue truck to work. But Tuesday, he drove his 1949 Ford F4, he said.
"They thought I was in there because the blue truck was parked here,” Smith said. “Everybody was worried I was in there."
Smith said he can get another trailer, but there were photos inside that are irreplaceable. His blue truck nearby was also damaged.
“I just had $3,000 worth of work done on that truck,” he said.
Smith joined the Milford Township Fire Department in 1974.
Now, for the first time in his career, he said he can relate to what others have experienced.
"As a firefighter, you run into people who have lost everything,” he said. “Now I know what they go through."