SAN JOSE, Calif. - Relatives and friends of three people killed when a San Jose mobile home went up in flames are devastated.
"It's just really sad for us to see something like that because it's not something that happen all the time you know. and hopefully we never see something like that again," said Aline Mahoney, a friend of the family that is now preparing to bury three of its members.
Family members say 10-year-old Linda and 9-year-old Uyen were killed in the fire. Investigators say the flames erupted around 12:30 in the afternoon. neighbor says she heard an explosion and looked out the window to see flames. engulfing victims and property."
She say she very sad. crying a lot because of what happen to the only daughter they have," said a woman identified as the aunt of Linda.
Neighbors say Linda and Uyen were playing inside the mobile home when the fire started, A third child, 11-year-old Derek Do, who usually played with the pair, did not come to the home that day as he often did.
"You're asking how they were. They were beautiful kids. None of us did not know they were in there, you know? And when they put the orange ribbon, that's when we knew somebody was in there," said neighbor Arlene Garcia, who saw the girl routinely playing together.
Fire officials say the first engine arrived in 10 minutes, bit it was too late to save the structure, or rescue the three victims trapped inside.
The remains of Linda and her elderly uncle were found immediately. The body of the other child was found about a half hour later..
"The construction on mobile homes are lightweight construction, plastics and very light metals. and so when a fire is ignited in a mobile home the acceleration is fairly quick," said Joshua Padron, a spokesman for the San Jose Fire Department.
The lack of ceiling sprinklers, which are not required by law in mobile homes, further reduced the chance for survival. Investigators from the county's arson task force are combing the ash and debris to find the ignition spot, and cause.
Meanwhile, neighbors in this largely Vietnamese community are coming together to grieve and help the affected family overcome the loss of three lives.
"I know we can't bring the lives back, but at least looking at their house, it's totally shattered. at least we can do something to help them stand back on their feet."
Neighbor Ruby Walia was so deeply devastated by the three deaths, she's started a Go-Fund-Me page to raise money for the victim's family.
Later this afternoon, some neighbors plan to hold an impromptu fund-raiser, by going to each home here and asking other residents to donate to a family devastated by loss..