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Families affected in Country Squire Park Fire provided with temporary housing


Residents who were displaced from mobile homes that burned in the Country Squire RV and Mobile Home Park in Desert Hot Springs will be accommodated in temporary housing, officials announced today.

During the July 18 fire, nine mobile homes were destroyed and several families were displaced, according to a joint statement from county Supervisor V. Manuel Perez and the city of Desert Hot Springs. The park was subsequently deemed unsafe for occupancy when the California Department of Housing and Community Development red-tagged the community.  

County and city officials said families whose units were unaffected by the blaze were eventually allowed to return to their units after county officials communicated with the HCD about health and safety requirements of the property, which passed a follow-up inspection.

Families who were unable to return to their mobile homes were moved into temporary housing through aid from nonprofit groups, city funding and county services, officials said.

"The support for these families and the resources we have secured for this response have been phenomenal,'' Perez said in a statement. "This has been a major effort to stabilize the housing situation for families who lost everything in this fire, and provide hope and relief to folks prior to the closure of the shelter at the high school."  

The blaze began after noon July 18 and fire crews from the Riverside County, Cathedral City, Hemet, Palm Springs and Soboba fire departments helped in the firefight, according to the Riverside County Fire Department. The non-injury blaze was contained by 4:15 p.m. that day.

Due to the presence of a 500-gallon propane tank, more than 100 people were evacuated from trailer park, fire officials said.   

Ultimately, nine mobile homes and 12 vehicles were destroyed by the flames, while 59 other mobile homes were damaged, according to fire officials.   

The American Red Cross established a shelter at Desert Hot Springs High School and has assisted with case management, according to officials. Additionally, the Coachella Valley Housing Coalition worked with one family on down payment assistance to buy a home.

"The city and the county are definitely here to support the community,'' Perez said in a statement. ``We are coming together and united in support of our residents.''   

Though housing has been stabilized temporarily for families, residents have been raising several questions and concerns about clean-up of the fire debris, rent payments and safety. Those questions will be addressed as Perez, Mayor Scott Matas and City Manager Doria Wilms work to provide residents with updates, officials wrote in a statement.

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