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California fires coverage: Officials hope winds will let up today as 115000 acres burn

At the Journey’s End mobile home park for seniors on Mendocino Avenue, sons and daughters returned to the skeletons of their parents’ homes for the first time since the fire to see what could be salvaged.

Almost all of the park’s 160 homes had been completely destroyed, though some on Sahara Street, near the Kaiser Permanente hospital, were still intact.

Alex Perez, 41, said he would drink tea with his mother-in-law at her home on Biltmore Street. All that remained Tuesday was the trailer’s steel frame, the carcass of her son’s motorcycle and the shells of a washer, dryer, microwave, refrigerator and stove. Two stools, a countertop and a sink lay on the ground.

“I’m just glad she’s safe, that’s it,” Perez said. He said she had only thought to evacuate because her brother had texted asking if she was OK. Perez said his mother-in-law wished she’d had more notice. She only saved her documents for the house and a Bible.

A couple of doors down, Carrie Reindahl said her mom and stepdad only got out in time because they woke up from the noise of their U.S. flag whipping in the wind. By then, two trailers and a tree were already ablaze.

“They tried to wake up some neighbors, and they barely got out with the clothes on their back,” Reindahl said.

On Tuesday, Reindahl managed to pull out her grandmother’s collection of porcelain Kewpie dolls from the rubble. Some had been broken.

“It’s just so devastating,” she said, looking at the wreckage of her mother’s home of 25 years. “She’s 85 and he’s 87. How do you start all over?”

Reindahl said her mom and stepdad had been able to drive out in their own car, but she worried about others at the park. “Trailers go up like a match,” she said.

A few streets over, Jeff Moroni, 55, had come back to see what he could collect of his mother’s belongings. Shirley, 86, lived in “the biggest and newest home” in the park, Jeff said, a three-bedroom, double-wide trailer. 

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