Marco and Eneida Sosa were at work and their five children were at school when their double wide trailer caught fire at the Carefree Mobile Home Park at North Indian Canyon Drive and Dillion Road on Tuesday.
Neighbor Freddy Padilla was the first to come across the fire, that broke out at around 12:15 p.m. With winds gusting at about 40 mph, the fire soon spread and also destroyed the two adjacent homes.
"I saw thru the kitchen window, you could see flames," said Padilla. "It looked like the ceiling was on fire. Through the kitchen window you could see the blinds all melted out, the flames coming out of the top end of the house."
Once firefighters arrived on scene, it took the 10 engine companies about an hour to contain the fire. The weather conditions and the fact the mobile home park doesn't have a fire hydrant didn't make their job any easier.
"The winds posed a real challenge for us cause our water supplies out here our scarce," said Division Chief Bill Hunley of the Riverside County Fire Department. "We had to get our water from about 12-hundred feet up Dillion Road here."
Before firefighters arrived and the Sosa's home was engulfed in flames, Padilla and another neighbor tried to save the family's dog.
"We kicked in the side door so we could get the dog out, but she wouldn't come," said Padilla. "Then on the other side, a sliding door, we broke that one, but she still wouldn't come. After a few minutes she stopped screaming and yelling."
He was referring to the Sosa's 8-year-old female lab mix, who died in the fire.
"I feel so bad, I can't talk," said Enieda Sosa. She did add, one of the other homes lost in the fire belonged to her sister and brother-in-law who have 3 children. No one was injured in the three homes that were destroyed or in another home that suffered smoke damage.
The cause of the fire is under investigation. The American Red Cross is providing hotel rooms for the families who lost their homes.