Fire destroys five mobile homes in Santa Margarita

May 14, 2022


A fast moving fire destroyed five mobile homes in the Santa Margarita Mobile Home Park on Friday.

At about noon, callers reported a fire at the park on Pinal Avenue. The fire quickly spread through the five closely situated mobile homes.

One person suffered from smoke inhalation.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

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I would be willing to bet that the ignition source came from an older mobile home that the park wanted removed due to its age and condition or possibly the tenants who occupied it were not wanted or were up to illegal activities which are conducive to fire ….old mobile homes have almost zero value especially in SLO county .

This, unfortunately, is what happens when structures built with very little inherent fire resistance are stacked together like cordwood. Perhaps it is time to apply new thinking to fire prevention and fire suppression in mobile home parks, especially those located in or near wildland areas.

Oh, you mean like in Paradise?

Fire is unpredictable, especially with crazy winds. That a number of trailers burned, is not the fault of the trailers or park.

OK, keep paddling down that river in Egypt. Equating the Paradise fire to Friday’s fire in Margarita is absurd and disingenuous. That FIVE homes burned is definitely related to the design, features, spacing, fire loading, and available fire protection in the park. I’m suggesting there are real solutions that can be implemented to improve survivability of structures & occupants in mobile home parks. If you think otherwise, you are ignoring such solutions as non-combustible siding, non-combustible dividing walls & fences, and on-site fire suppression assets such as sprinklers, hose cabinets & wharf valves.

The loss of five homes in the Santa Margarita Mobile Home Park fire was an extreme anomaly when compared to other mobile home fires in SLO County over the past 40 years. I can’t remember when the last time a similar fire completely destroyed more than about two homes in a MHP. Something is seriously amiss when five are destroyed in a single, non-wildland incident.

First, nearly all other mobile parks are inside an incorporated city, whose fire department would have responded in moments, rather than many many minutes compared to a volunteer department. Not to mention, more than one city station would have responded, along with city Police.

Second, everything you said about mobile parks, can be said about Paradise: high fuel content, tightly packed housing, wooden structures with shake or tar roofing, and lack of fire protection. Fire is unpredictable at best, and despite 10,000 years of human use of it, we still don’t know how to control it 100%.