Two people were killed early Wednesday when their trailer became engulfed in flames and neighbors were unable to reach the pair and pull them to safety, authorities said.
Neighbor Mildred Ortiz said she was in bed watching television in her trailer at the Estudillo Trailer Park located at 1468 Grand Avenue when she smelled smoke at around 3:30 a.m.
“I knew it wasn’t BBQ, it was wood smoke,” she said. “I came outside and saw fire coming out of the door of the trailer.”
She ran over to the trailer and broke a window in an attempt to the help the trapped couple.
“I asked her (the female resident) if she was okay and she said: ‘No, I’m not,’” said Ortiz who cut her hands in her rescue attempt. “We were breaking windows and all of a sudden there was big fire.”
Meanwhile, neighbor Robert Varady was attempting to force open the front which was locked. Once he did get it open, the fire exploded into flames.
“I tried to get in to help her,” he said. “The front door was locked… The door swings inward so I took a crowbar and punched a bunch of holes in it and then reached in and grabbed the handle. I opened the door that way.”
Alameda County Fire Battalion Chief Chuck Palmer said firefighters arrived on the scene within four minutes of getting the 911 call, but the trailer was fully involved at that point.
The fire was extinguished within 10 minutes, but the couple could not be saved. The woman was found in the rear of the trailer and a second body was found by firefighters when they searched the wreckage.
Palmer said the trailer was a small travel-type trailer, not a home trailer.
He added there “was quite a lot of stuff” in the trailer and that the door and living areas were at opposite ends.
The neighbors told KTVU the female victim was confined to a wheelchair. The identity of the couple has not been released.
Investigators were on the scene trying to determine the cause of the blaze.
Watchdogs are questioning an exclusive agreement between the City of Oakland and a non-profit group, tapped to lead a multi-million dollar project to redevelop the area around the Coliseum BART station.