Eight people were caught in a mobile home fire early Thursday morning in Escondido. One of them, a 5-year-old girl, Elizette Orozco, was later found dead in the structure.
On Thursday, December 29, at 12:36 a.m., the Escondido Fire and Police departments responded to a reported residential structure fire with reports of victims trapped inside at the Green Crest Mobile Home Park located at 541 W. 15th Avenue in Escondido.
According to the San Diego County Medical Examiner, for a yet undetermined cause the mobile home ignited in to flames in the front of the home. The adults attempted to remove all the children from the home making several trips in and out of the home.
Upon arrival, firefighters and police officers found heavy fire and black smoke coming from the front doors and windows. Family members on scene confirmed that there were two children still trapped inside the mobile home. Firefighters took immediate fire suppression and rescue actions and requested second alarm, an air ambulance, and additional ground ambulances.
Two firefighters made entry to the rear of the structure where they quickly located a male child. The child was removed from the structure and firefighter paramedics and police officers waiting outside provided medical care. The child was transported to Palomar Hospital and was later transferred to UCSD Medical Center by air ambulance. A total of eight residents were transported to local hospitals with injuries ranging from mild smoke inhalation to acute status CPR.
One family member did not survive. After the fire was controlled, firefighters found the 5-year-old child in the mobile home.
The fire was contained to the mobile home by a total of 42 firefighters including 7 Fire Engines, 3 Truck Companies, 6 Ambulances and 4 Chief Officers. Escondido Fire Department was assisted by San Marcos Fire, Vista Fire and Mercy Air. The Red Cross was requested to provide assistance to the residents.
The cause of the fire is undetermined, however it is possible that the fire was caused by an electrical failure or a candle. No smoke detectors were found in the mobile home and there were no reports of a smoke alarm sounding.
According to Fire Chief Russ Knowles defective electrical equipment, including extension cords, and unattended candles are leading causes of fires nationwide. It is important to occasionally inspect electrical extension cords, especially if they are rolled up and stored with holiday decorations. It is also important to keep objects off the electrical lines that may contribute to the buildup of heat.
Live Christmas trees dry out over time and can catch fire very easily. Christmas tree fires spread rapidly in any building, particularly mobile homes.
All residents are reminded to ensure that their Christmas trees are watered regularly and are properly disposed of when dried out
Working smoke detectors are crucial for warning residents of a fire, especially at night while everyone is sleeping. Smoke detectors will provide precious time to escape that can be the difference between survival and being trapped inside a home on fire. Working smoke detectors should be placed on every floor, inside every sleeping room and outside each separate sleeping area. For more information on holiday season safety, mobile home fire safety, and smoke detectors, visit www.fire.escondido.org and click on “Safety Info.”