FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – In less than 24 hours a judge will decide the next owner of a neglected trailer park in North Fresno.
It comes after several fires including a deadly fire from last April that killed 56-year-old Ronald Richardson.
Our station has investigated Trails End Mobile Home Park ever since the fire, uncovering health and safety hazards, and uncovering a suspended operating permit.
“Nervous, worried, we are all gonna be, every one of us,” said tenant Patsy Rajksup.
Two fires in the last year have destroyed a handful of homes and killed 56-year-old Ronald Richardson. Our station’s investigation called for accountability and action.
The City of Fresno stepped in, took the owner to court, and third party Mark Adams was appointed as the receiver. Adams partnered with Harmony Communities to clean up the park and some improvements have been made.
Adams is recommending to the court that Harmony buy the park to get it up to par.
“Uncertainty is never the friend of a dangerous place like Trails End,” said Adams.
The outcry from the tenants that fear rent hikes and strict rules delayed the Judge’s decision last month. Over the past few weeks, Harmony has tried to ease tenants’ fears but Rajksup said it didn’t work.
“He made it seem like it was all for us and he is the best thing he was for us but we all felt like there was a knife in our backs,” said Rajskup.
Some tenants want to buy the park themselves or have Caritas Corporation come in.
Caritas is a non-profit community company focused on affordable communities. Caritas is already operating in the City of Fresno.
Adams isn’t against Caritas coming into the fold but is recommending that Harmony buy the park first and then work out the rest with Caritas after.
“I don’t think it is safe to let the closing go any further,” said Adams. “We need to get the property remediated and done.”