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Duroville Fire Labeled Arson

THERMAL- An arson fire at the Thermal mobile home park known as Duroville destroyed a double-wide mobile home, but no one was injured, a fire official said Wednesday.

The fire was reported at 10:58 p.m. Tuesday at the Desert Mobile Home Park, better known as Duroville, which is located at 68800 Pierce St., said Cal Fire Captain Carl Calderon.

Responding firefighters reported that the mobile home was fully engulfed in flames, Calderon said.

The captain said the trailer had been converted to an office building, but that it had not been “placed into use.”

Power lines above the trailer also caught on fire and a power company responded to the scene to turn off power to the area, Calderon said.

Department investigators determined that the cause of the fire was arson, but they have not said how the fire was started.

Federal prosecutors have been seeking to shut down the mobile home park over health and safety risks to residents.

Between 3,000 and 5,000 migrant workers and their families live at the park, which is part of the Torres-Martinez Desert Cahuilla Indian Reservation. The park is home to about 350 single-wide trailers, some of which are more than 50 years old.

The facility is plagued with environmental and other hazards, including damaged electrical lines, poor drinking water, sewage contamination and a lack of fire safety systems, according to the government.

A trial is set for April 7 to determine whether the park is a public nuisance, whether the lease-holder Harvey Duro ever had federal approval to turn the facility into a commercial operation, and whether Duro is liable for cleaning up the site.

KESQ News Team

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