Authorities believe space heater may have led to fire at mobile home park
A late morning blaze destroyed or heavily damaged three mobile homes at the ParkView Mobile Home Park Friday.
The first 911 call was received by the Pasadena Volunteer Fire Department at 11:22 a.m., but by time firefighters arrived, the fire had become a blazing inferno, sending thick black smoke into the sky that could be seen for miles.
A full two hours later after the initial call, smoke was still coming from the burned-out structures.
“The area of origin was trailer No. 77, the middle one and then we have the two adjacent to it and then we have five cars that have some damage and one that has major damage that is probably totaled,” Pasadena Chief Fire Marshall David Brannon said.
Trailer No. 80, located to the left of 77, was also destroyed, while Trailer No. 76 to the right was heavily damaged. The intense heat melted the siding and caused a great deal of fire damage to the entrance area of that mobile home. It was in Trailer 76’s driveway where the heat appeared to total a white Dodge Durango.
“At this point of time, we haven’t been able to get in and do the investigation. We have good reports right now that put it in the area of a living room with a space heater. We haven’t confirmed that yet,” Brannon said.
Brannon added that all of the occupants of the three mobile homes had been accounted for.
In all, almost a dozen fire engines responded to the blaze, including Engine 21 from the Deer Park Fire Dept.
Michael Salas, 42, who lives in Trailer No. 80, possibly prevented the fire from taking a life when twice he pulled a woman from Trailer 77. After doing that, he unchained a dog that was tied to the front porch, running to the back and finding a second dog in a kennel that was covered with a tarp.
“I was enjoying my morning on the porch and I heard a lady screaming. When I came out, she ran into the burning house so I ran in with her. Smoke was already this high. It was pitch black in there so I followed her voice. I wasn’t sure if people or if a baby was in there. She ran in there a second time. I grabbed her again and pulled her out,” Salas said.
His most dramatic rescue was probably saving the second dog, named “Gray.”
“I was on my knees getting the dog out,” said Salas describing how the heat had broken a window above the kennel and flames were beginning to fill the window frame.
“He just disappeared. He went in on his own,” Salas’ mother, Barbara Salas said. “I was trying to call 911 but my hands were shaking so bad. On top of that, I have Parkinson’s.”
Brannon used the blaze to remind all how space heaters located too close to flammable objects and dried-out Christmas trees can easily catch fire.
We’re around the holidays. Any kind of appliances like space heaters, Christmas lighting, Christmas trees. They’re like gasoline. They go up quick. We don’t know what really happened here, but it looks like something electrical,” Brannon said.
One thing I’d like to stress is that around the holidays.