FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE) – New developments in the death of a person at a mobile home park in north Fresno.
On Thursday, the Fresno Fire Department said a person died in a fire at Trails Ends Mobile Home Park. State documents show the park’s permit was suspended in January but residents say the landlord continues to charge rent.
State and local investigators were at the park throughout the day digging into the cause of the fire that killed a person and injured another.
Patsy Rajskup has been a resident at the park for over 30 years.
“I have been here since 1990 and it was a nice clean family park when I moved in here and then it just started going downhill.”
She said for years the landowner kept up on the park but in the past few years, the park hasn’t been maintained.
“He was supposed to do the pavement but he never did and as you can see the trees were overgrown,” said Rajskup. “He always had them pruned once a year. It is like he isn’t taking care of anything.”
The Fresno Fire Department said there has been three fires at the park in the last year and a half.
On Jan. 21, there was a sign posted on the park’s entrance saying the park owner could not operate, rent, lease, or hire anyone for the park – but Rajskup and other residents claim they have continued to pay rent.
The owner did not answer our station’s calls.
The state does have jurisdiction over mobile home parks, which falls under the Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD). The HCD sent a copy of the notice of suspension to Fresno County but the county told the state it was not on their land.
“It is not our jurisdiction,” said Supervisor Steve Brandau.
County officials said on Jan. 29, they contacted the state and said the city would have to assist because it is on city land.
“What they did with it after that we do not know,” said Brandau.
An HCD spokesperson says the department has not contacted the city or the county and that the mobile homeowners can continue to stay on the lot but the owner cannot collect rent.
Rajskup is still concerned about her future.
“I keep asking but I cannot get answers,” she said. “What is going to happen to us?”
The HCD spokesperson says the park is operating without a legal permit – but the department does not have the authority to come and clear it out and close it permanently.
The HCD spokesperson said that would only be done once all options are exhausted to get the landowner to meet the health and safety guidelines.