The Sandalwood Fire was sparked by a garbage truck driver who dumped a burning pile of trash on the side of a road on October 10th. The fire destroyed 76 mobile homes in just minutes.
Stacey Holloway, a resident of Villa Calimesa Mobile Home Park said it wasn’t easy to return last Monday.
“The owners of the park were neglectful basically said no. Riverside County fire had to get involved and let us back in for that day,” said Holloway.
Some residents were able to retrieve valuables while others are finding nothing remains.
“You take a picture of everything in your house all your belongings and you go there and there are four inches of ash,” said Holloway.
Several are dealing with mental health struggles from the tragedy.
“Now kids are having trouble who are having a hard time sleeping if they were in the park,” said Holloway.
Residents are receiving help from the Red Cross, local businesses, churches, and neighbors.
“We have seen the ones that do have insurance have helped out the ones that do not have insurance as best as possible,” said Holloway.
Two people were found dead in Calimesa mobile home park after a raging wildfire destroyed several homes in the park.
According to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, they discovered the additional human remains on October 11th, during a search of one of the mobile homes at the park. The ID of the second victim is still under investigation. Residents said they have an idea who the second victim might be.
The Coroner’s office has identified one of the victims as Lois Arvikson, 89, of Calimesa.
Calimesa Fire said the investigation continues as they move into the recovery stage. And it’ll be a long road ahead for many of these residents.
“I am trying to accept the fact that my home is gone and that all my stuff is gone. I have to get back to work because my rental properties are no longer producing an income, so I really have to start selling more houses,” said Jessica Cook, resident of Villa Calimesa Mobile Home Park.