FRESNO, Calif. (KGPE) – On Thursday morning, as a result of an over two-month-long investigation by our station, the city of Fresno has taken over all jurisdiction of all 26 Fresno Mobile Home Parks.
This year, two fires at Trails End Mobile Home Park have killed one person, injured and destroyed five trailers.
More than a dozen inspectors started the clean-up process in public areas. However, it was just the beginning of the clean-up process with the future of the park still uncertain.
“This is a gift from God,” said tenant Randall Gonzalez. “I just want to say thank you to the Mayor and thank you to everyone that is here.”
Gonzalez and his wife have lived at the Trails End Mobile Home Park for four and a half years. He says when they moved in it was in bad condition, and over the years the overgrown trees, crumbling sidewalks, overcrowding and homeless encampments made the living conditions worse.
“We have tried to get out,” said Gonzalez. “My girl told me to get out, but I said where can I go? I don’t have a place to go.”
On April 29, one of the fires killed 56-year-old Ronald Richardson. Richardson’s family is calling for justice.
“I am worried about other people’s lives and losing their personal belongings,” said Ronald’s mother Sharon.
Our station’s investigation uncovered the park was operating for months with a suspended permit before the fire, which led to the city taking over the jurisdiction of the park from the state.
“We are going to be trimming the trees, we are going to be fixing the streets, we are going to be taking abandon vehicles,” said Bredefeld. “So, the city is going to follow up until this mobile home park is up to speed and it is safe, and it is healthy for its residents.”
The landowner signed an agreement allowing the city to make any changes to the public areas of the park until August 31, as long as he does not have to pay for those changes.
30-year tenant Patsy Rajskup never thought the park would be cleaned up.
“We need it,” said Rajskup. “Every one of us tenants needs it.”
The city will go lot by lot and give notices to tenants about mobile homes that are not up to code. If they are not fixed or are considered unsafe to live in, then those residences will be displaced.
We reached out to the landowner, but he did not return any calls.