A thick plume of black smoke rose over the South Bay early Monday due to a raging fire at a mobile home park in Chula Vista.
Crews were called to the fire near the intersection of Broadway and F Street at about 6:40 a.m. where flames were shooting from one unit inside Trailer Villa.
Mariana Carillo, the mobile home park's manager, said she awoke to screams and immediately called 911 when she saw flames roaring outside her window.
The fire was just east of Interstate 5 and south of state Route 54, sending a smoke tower into the air that was visible during the morning commute.
First responders said the trailer was fully engulfed when they arrived. Before crews could get a handle on the blaze, it had begun to spread to a power pole and two neighboring units.
Nearby homes were evacuated as a precaution.
Within 20 minutes, crews had subdued flames and the smoke rising above the scene was white.
SkyRanger 7 captured footage of the trailer where the fire erupted, which had a caved-in roof and a blackened interior. The two neighboring units were scorched on the outside but it was not clear how much damage was done.
In response to this morning’s fires in @thinkchulavista, American Red Cross disaster workers are working to open a shelter at the Otay Recreation Center (3554 Main St, Chula Vista, CA 91911). The shelter is anticipated to be open by 12:00 p.m. pic.twitter.com/X6HwB3BzQw— SDIC Red Cross (@SDICRedCross) March 18, 2019
Carillo said a family with children lived inside the unit. They had moved in about a year ago.
Delores Kilby, 59, lived in one of the neighboring units that was destroyed. She's lived there for 38 years and lost her husband last November.
Most of Kilby's posessions are gone, including one that meant more to her than anything else: her husband's burial flag.
"It's sad because his American Flag was in there," Kilby's daughter Mary said. "Who cares abotu everything else, just his American flag proving that he was a hero."
There was no word on what caused the fire.
Less than an hour after the fire broke out, another blaze began at a two-story apartment complex close by.
The Red Cross announced it would open a shelter for those affected by this fire and the other fire at a neighboring mobile home park.
Displaced residents were welcomed at the Otay Recreation Center, located at 3554 Main Street, beginning at noon Monday.
The Red Cross said it would offer “a safe and clean place to stay, food, hydration, comfort kits with personal hygiene items, emotional support and health services,” in a released statement hours after the fires.
By 10 p.m. Monday, there were about a dozen people sheltered there. The Red Cross said it is prepared to house as many as 60 indefinitely
The non-profit also welcomed pets thanks to the help of the San Diego Humane Society, which open a pet shelter adjacent to the Otay Recreation Center.
No other information was available.
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