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Resident hurt in mobile home blaze

Modified: Wednesday, Apr 17th, 2013

Watsonville firefighter Darrin Oldakowski soaks a charred wall at space No. 6 inside the Monterey Vista Mobile Estates on Holm Road early Wednesday morning where fire destroyed a doublewide home. (Photos by Tarmo Hannula/Register-Pajaronian)

WATSONVILLE One man was seriously injured in an early morning blaze that destroyed the mobile home he was sleeping in at Monterey Vista Mobile Estates. The 5:09 a.m. fire, at space No. 6, 144 Holm Road, also charred three vehicles and threatened to spread to surrounding homes.

When firefighters arrived the doublewide home was fully engulfed in flames. Watsonville Fire officials immediately called for a second alarm response. The sole male resident of the home managed to escape by himself after trying to stop the flames. He was treated at the scene.

After American Medical Response paramedics took the male victim to Watsonville Community Hospital, he was loaded into a CALSTAR helicopter and flown to a trauma center out of county as a precaution, said Battalion Chief Chris Johnson. Also, a Watsonville firefighter suffered a strained back while combatting the fire about 90 minutes into the incident. He was transported to Watsonville Community Hospital.

The flames were reaching far into the night sky, said Bob Crowley who has lived in the park for two decades. It was completely engulfed. There was a huge column of black smoke and you could see the cinders showering all over. They were concerned other homes might catch fire.

Firefighters had the flames knocked down within an hour and there was no significant damage to surrounding homes. A Yukon SUV, a Honda sedan and a pickup sustained major fire damage.

Watsonville Police Sgt. Eric Taylor said police are trying to determine how the injured resident suffered three superficial knife wounds. Taylor said they may have been self-inflicted.

He added that police have dealt with the victim numerous times in the past regarding drug issues.

Watsonville Police helped secure the scene and dealt with traffic. They closed Holm Road down in the area because fire hoses were draped across the roadway.

Firefighters got one break in the incident in that one fire hydrant was situated directly in front of the burned home.

One neighbor, who chose not to be identified, said, I just cant believe this. Im just totally shocked.

Aptos/La Selva, Cal Fire at Corralitos and Pajaro Dunes, and North Monterey County Fire also responded.

We dont know the exact ignition source but it appears to have started in the kitchen, Johnson said.

The incident is still under investigation.

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