Family of six loses home in Lakeside brush fire

1 woman in critical condition

LAKESIDE - A burned-out trailer is all that remains of Jesus Bernal’s home.

His wife and four children had to run for their lives Mother’s Day afternoon, as their mobile home was engulfed by a raging fire.

“My wife and kids were at home,  so they started running right after they saw the fire,” Bernal told 10News.         

More than a hundred firefighters battled the fire from the ground and from the air in 100 degree temperatures           

Twenty to thirty-foot flames poured over some of the fences at Glenview Mobile Home Park in Lakeside.

Neighbors grabbed garden hoses to spray down their homes until help could arrive. 

Other neighbors described hearing popping noises from a half mile away. Firefighters said it was the sound of water boiling up and shooting out from inside bamboo reeds. 

Reeds could be found several acres of thick bamboo near the roadway, along the business route of Interstate 8 near Los Coches Road.

Firefighters said it was inside the middle of these 30 foot tall bamboo reeds where the fire started near an area known to be a homeless encampment.

One woman believed to have lived in that encampment is still in critical condition from burns she received before making it out of the brush and onto the roadway.  First responders found her near the road.

“You could hear like pop pop pop,” one neighbor told 10News.  “Is that propane or what is that?”

10News viewers sent in pictures of the water drops being made with homes nearby.  But it wasn’t enough to save Bernal's.

 “We lost everything. There’s nothing left,” Bernal told 10News.  “Unfortunately, we lost everything in there.”  This includes two turtles the children had just received as pets.

But all of the six family members were uninjured.

 “That’s all that matters,” said neighbor Kandy Whitefield. “These material things we can help them to get them back, but their lives we can’t.  That’s what’s important to us.”

The Bernals have four children ages 5, 9, 11 and 14.  The family said they were coping with the support of other neighborhood children Sunday night.

The local chapter of the American Red Cross is assisting the family.

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