Cal Fire called for a full structural response Thursday for a mobile home fire in Palm Desert.
The blaze was reported at 4:47 p.m. in the Suncrest Country Club at 73450 Country Club Drive, said Capt. Fernando Herrera of the Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire Department.
Henrieta Kopel, 87, was in her home and reading a book when she smelled smoke seeping into her living room.
“I went to the back door and I saw smoke coming out of the shed,” she said.
Smoke quickly turned into fire, and flames then engulfed the shed on the side of the house and a golf cart nearby.
“(I) went back, called 911 and told them that they had to get here in a hurry,” said Kopel.
“Engine 71 was returning from a call and saw a large black plume of smoke coming from this residence,” said Bill Hunley, a Cal Fire battalion chief.
The first engine arrived on-scene just 30 seconds after Kopel called 9-11, according to Cal Fire.
Kopel got out of her house as quickly as possible and walked across the street to stay with a neighbor while crews worked to put out the flames.
Neighbors said the situation was scary.
Originally, witnesses believed the golf cart near the shed caused the fire. But Kopel said, “No, it couldn’t have, because it hasn’t been used in three years.”
Cal Fire responded with 30 firefighters, five engines and breathing support.
Kopel received medical attention at the scene. But she was not taken to the hospital.
“The windows are out and they have to be boarded,” said Kopel. “The door has to be boarded up — that whole side of the house.”
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
“We’re looking at electrical.,” said Hunley. “We’re looking at a lot of different things in that area back in the shed.”
Kopel said she plans on staying in a hotel for the next few nights.
Her house wasn’t totaled. She just lost her shed and a golf cart.
Neighbor Stephanie Peron housed Kopel while fire crews worked on the fire. She said the department’s response, “was very good and there was so many. It was excellent.”
“It could have been much worse,” said Kopel. “And, I’m very grateful.”