Mobile home fire mountain view

As a wildfire headed toward Mountain View Estates mobile home park near Chatsworth several years ago, the emergency response of the park's manager and assistant manager was simple, Gary Gibson recalls: They left, leaving him and hundreds of other residents to fend for themselves. Lou Correa D-Santa Ana. The panel, which also includes state Sen. Alex Padilla D-Pacoima , held a public hearing Friday in Sylmar to discuss safety issues raised by last year's wildfires and a bill by Padilla that would require new fire safety measures for the 4, mobile home parks in California.

Two adults, two children escape early-morning mobile home fire

The measure would require emergency evacuation plans and fire safety training for staff and managers, including procedures for the evacuation of senior citizens and people with disabilities or health problems. The bill was prompted by the firestorms that destroyed or damaged at least five mobile home parks in Southern California in the last two years, including Oakridge in Sylmar, where about homes burned to the ground in November.

Padilla said he was confident that his measure would pass, although the Legislature and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger have killed at least seven bills since to improve code enforcement and safety in mobile home parks. I hope that will make a difference.

Two adults, two children escape early-morning mobile home fire |

After November's fires, Schwarzenegger called for a review of building standards and emergency procedures for mobile homes, trying to bring them into line with requirements for conventional homes. He noted that the Oakridge units went up like matches. At Friday's hearing, the committee heard dramatic testimony from mobile home owners who complained about a lack of emergency preparedness and escape routes, inadequate removal of flammable vegetation, and locks that had to be cut off gates to help residents flee oncoming flames.

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Only one representative from the mobile home park industry testified: Bert Caster, the owner of a park in northern San Diego County. He told the committee that he supports Padilla's bill but would like it to apply to all housing, including condos and apartments.

Wanda Whelan testified that the lack of an evacuation plan at Sky Terrace Mobile Lodge in the hills above Sylmar kept her from saving valuables from the Marek fire last October. She said authorities would not let her onto the grounds, though the fire did not reach the park until the next day. Why weren't we told to grab what we could? We had 24 hours. Whelan, who watched her home burn down on the evening news, also said park owners had not trimmed or removed dense brush and overhanging trees, presenting a fire hazard. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.

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