INDIO, Calif. - A total of 3 families are still displaced after a fire ripped through their mobile homes at the Pueblo del Sol Mobile Home Park on Avenue 46 and Clinton Street back on September 30. One home caught fire, and then spread to the trailers on its left and right side.
"It was crazy, I was watching a movie. I just heard a loud explosion and I came outside and I see the trailer on fire," resident Carlos Aceves Sotelo said on the day the fire erupted.
"This fire, it turned our lives upside down completely, emotionally, physically, mentally, we’re exhausted. We’re still homeless," said Monica Tessandore, one of the victim's who lost her home.
Tessandore and 4 of her 6 kids revisited the site on Friday where their mobile home once stood. The piece of land is left with dirt, and leftover debris from the fire.
"We’re living with my parents, which there’s no room there but we kind of managed to make a bit of room."
Days after the devastation, the families were given hope after the 29 Palms Band of Mission Indians stepped into donate 3 trailer homes to the families. Then Indio mayor, Glenn Miller, delivered the exciting news to the families. On October 10 he helped the tribe facilitate a day where families were able to choose amenities, ranging from a choice of carpets to the layout. The tribe also provided $500 Walmart gift cards to each family.
That next week is when they planned on submitting the orders. Families were told the homes would be ready roughly within a month.
"Blessed. That’s the biggest word I can use for that. That’s being blessed. With a home from people who don’t even know you, don’t owe me nothing, but were willing to give- very appreciative and blessed," said Tessandore.
Tessandore said she held off from getting an apartment because she wouldn't want to break the lease if the new home became available.
Months later, the families have not received their homes.
"The 29 Palms Band of Mission Indians stepped up to donate 3 mobile homes to the families that were affected. Unfortunately with the pandemic and the incredible demand for the mobile homes, the backlog has been so intense that they’re in production and we know that they'll be delivered by May for sure for the first one, and by the end of June for the last one," said Bob Bogard, 29 Palms Band of Mission Indians spokesperson.
Bogard said the tribe has been in constant contact with the manufacturer to determine when they would become available.
"One of the ways that these homes are ordered is that you pick out all the amenities, the windows, the flooring, the countertops in advance and then they’re put into the cue. We had not been advised by the manufacturing company that there was this tremendous delay until the orders were placed so that was a bit of a surprise for us," said Bogard.
In the meantime the tribe is also donating a Honda Odyssey on Tuesday at 2 p.m. to one of the families that lost 2 cars in the fire.