A mobile home was destroyed this weekend displacing three Ukiah residents. Sadly, three adult dogs and five puppies perished in the flames.
We spoke with Ukiah Valley Fire Authority Captain Ryan Nelson who served as the Incident Commander during the fire.
Crews were dispatched last Saturday, June 3, 2023, around 8:25 p.m. to a confirmed structure fire at the Deep Valley Mobile Home Park located at 2101 South State Street.
Captain Nelson told us that he responded from the north end of Ukiah and could see a well-developed smoke column as he approached which prompted a call for assistance from nearby agencies including Redwood Valley-Calpella Fire, Potter Valley Fire, and Hopland Fire.
Initial reports from the scene stated that a person was possibly trapped in the mobile home as it burned. When the first units arrived, they determined there were no tenants within the structure.
Captain Nelson said that approximately 20 minutes after the fire began, the mobile home that had originally ignited was a total loss. Additionally, a neighboring mobile home suffered $15,000-$20,000 of exposure damage.
Before firefighters could begin their attack on the fire located near the mobile home park’s eastern perimeter, they had to lay out 900 feet of hose (nearly one-fifth of a mile) because the nearest hydrant was on State Street at the mobile home park’s west side.
Captain Nelson spoke about the decision-making process that goes into determining if and when it is safe to enter an active structure fire to save any person or animal trapped within. Incident Commanders consider how long the fire has burned, the type of structure, and whether a man or animal could survive. Sadly, Saturday’s fire burned too long and the structure was compromised too much for Captain Nelson to send firefighters in for the dogs.
He assured us, “I take saving animals very seriously. I have my own pets and I know how they are part of your family.”
As to the cause of Saturday’s fire, Captain Nelson said the high temperatures and comprehensive damage of the fire made it difficult for responders to identify the cause. One working theory is a portable air conditioner set up to keep the dogs comfortable fell over and ignited the fire.
The three occupants, a woman and two children in her car, were offered housing assistance and general support by the Red Cross but instead are staying with family in the area.
Countless Mendocino County residents rely on the swift action of our volunteer fire departments during fires, medical emergencies, traffic accidents, and more. They do that work with minimal funding. To support the essential work of the many volunteers that work with the Ukiah Valley Fire Authority, send a check to 1500 S. State Street
Ukiah, CA 95482.