Local family loses everything in fire

Linda Saholt

News Review Correspondent

Local family loses everything in fire An alert neighbor noticed a fire in the rear of a nearby mobile home and called 911 about 6 a.m. last Saturday. Engines and personnel from Fire Stations 73, 74, 75, 77, 71 and the China Lake Fire Department were on scene and contained the fire within 20 minutes.

Ridgecrest Police were also reportedly on the scene.

While the family was safe, the home, located in the Ridgecrest Town and Country Mobile Home Park in the 1500 block of North Norma Street, was lost.

According to Kern County Fire Department Public Infor-mation Officer Brett Grassi, the structure was fully involved when the firefighters arrived. “There was a water shortage issue while they located the fire hydrant. Then there was a wood fence surrounding the home, and about 15 feet of it was on fire.

“Firefighters had to use a chain saw on the fence to access the fire. Their first priority was to turn a hose on the mobile home next door, to prevent its catching fire, then focus on the primary blaze,” said Grassi.

Envoy Donna Griffin of the Salvation Army said the fire captain called her an hour after the fire was reported, and she went immediately to the scene.

“It was very cold. We assisted the family, and got them set up immediately in a motel to get them in out of the weather. There was a mother, father, and two boys, ages three and five. We got them meals, food, clothing and a Kmart voucher for necessities like underwear and socks. The Red Cross is coming in to work with them,” said Griffin.

“The mother had pneumonia, and the smoke inhalation made it worse. She was taken to the hospital. I don’t know if she’s been released yet or not. The father had burns on his hands, but he was OK. They’re in shock right now, and would like to remain anonymous. They really appreciate the support of the community, but have no way to receive phone calls and mail.

“We’re collecting donations and good wishes for them at the Salvation Army,and will pass those on to them when they get into another home. The mobile home park has several empty homes, and they’re hoping to move the family into one of those,” she said.

“We took some new toys for the boys to play with in the motel room. We’ll also help with Christmas. When they do get a home, we’ll help them with furniture and household needs.”

It turns out that two families were displaced by that fire. “The mobile home next door did not catch fire, but the heat broke windows and there was some water damage from the fire-fighting efforts. That family had to spend the night in a motel, too, but they’re back home now. We provided them with boards to enclose the home until they can get windows,” said Griffin.

The cause of the blaze has not been determined.

If you would like to make donations of food, money or other items for the family, please do so at the Salvation Army, 151 N. Downs St.

Story First Published: 2013-12-11