FRESNO, Calif. (KGPE) – The family of the Fresno man who died in a mobile home fire last week is demanding accountability.
56-year-old Ronald Richardson died in a two-trailer fire at the Trails End Mobile Home Park near Blackstone and Sierra. The park has been operating without a legal permit since Jan. 21, according to state documents.
Fresno Fire investigators believe that the fire was caused by a person pouring gasoline into a generator.
“Ron Richardson is hero let me tell you what,” said friend Susan Dahlstrom
Dahlstrom only knew Richardson for about a year, but since the deadly fire last week she says she is heartbroken and owes him her life.
“I am still going through it,” said Dahlstrom. “Devastated because he saved everyone’s life but his own.”
Dahlstrom said Richardson, who was living with her, asked for a ride on April 29. She said he asked for a ride to the Trails End Mobile Home Park to sell a speaker. While the two waited she noticed something odd, a man pouring gasoline into a generator.
“I said no, no, no,” said Dahlstrom. “All of a sudden it went poof.”
The flames grew quickly. Dahlstrom ran inside to tell everyone to get out and become stuck inside.
“I was scratching at the window to get out and then I fell on the floor,” said Dahlstrom. “I thought I was dead.”
Dahlstrom said Richardson rescued four others before he came back, grabbed her, broke the back window, and pushed her out to safety.
“If it wasn’t for him, I would have died,” she said
Richardson never made it out and took his last breaths as the fire raged. Deputy Fire Chief Jay Tracy said another man was taken to the hospital for severe burns.
“Tentative reports we got from him was 50% burns,” said Tracy. “He was intubated and unresponsive when we got there.”
His current condition isn’t known. This is the third fire at the Trails End Mobile Home Park in the last year and a half. State documents confirm that the park’s permit was suspended indefinitely due to unsanitary conditions and code violations.
Yet, the tenants claim the landowner continues to collect rent.
“They need to be in trouble, big trouble,” said Richardson’s aunt Sandy Griggs.
After seeing conditions at the park, Griggs demanded the park owner or state take responsibility.
“They need to lose that place,” said Griggs. “It makes me sick that someone owned the the property, knowing it was unsafe would leave it like that. “
The state says it would not close the park until it exhausted all options with the property owner to get the park up to code. The family of Richardson does not have enough money for a service and has set up a GoFundMe.