Home Fire News Three dead, 100,000 displaced as firefighters work to contain Saddleridge fire

Three dead, 100,000 displaced as firefighters work to contain Saddleridge fire

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Kate Feldman
New York Daily News

At least three people have died in southern California as wildfires sweep through the area, displacing 100,000 people.

Among the dead were two people killed when the Sandalwood Fire leveled most of the Villa Calimesa Mobile Home Park, destroying 73 homes and a clubhouse and burning at least 500 acres.

Lois Arvikson, 89, called her son to tell him she was evacuating from the mobile home park, but never made it out, he said.

The second victim has not been publicly identified.

Officials say the blaze broke out in the area Thursday when a commercial trash truck driver dumped a fiery load to prevent the vehicle from catching fire, igniting dry grass. Winds up to 50 mph then spread the fire into the mobile home park.

“The winds turned it into an inferno,” Capt. Fernando Herrera, from Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire, said.



A third victim, a man in his 50s, suffered a heart attack while trying to fight the Saddleridge Fire himself. He has not been identified.

Evacuation orders in Los Angeles County and parts of Riverside County were lifted Saturday afternoon, but officials have warned residents to be careful going home, as fire crews are still working.

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