The San Luis Obispo County Fire Investigation Strike Team determined that Tuesday’s fire at 9191 San Diego Way in Atascadero was caused by a faulty electrical panel.
The panel was located outside Unit 53. The sparks from that failure caused the nearby brush to spark and burn along the freeway. The flames eventually spread to Unit 52.
Fire investigators do not have a dollar estimate of damages at this time, but say Unit 53 us a total loss, and Unit 52 will need extensive repairs.
Both mobile homes were red tagged by the City of Atascadero.
A fire Tuesday afternoon at a mobile home park in Atascadero has left at least one family homeless and a family dog unaccounted for.
The Atascadero Fire Department says it began as a vegetation fire along Highway 101 at the San Diego Way exit at about 2:20pm and, because of the extremely dry conditions, spread quickly into the nearby Lost Oak Mobile Home Park.
It didn’t take long for the flames to engulf one of the units in the mobile home park that backs up to Highway 101.
“Crews when they arrived on scene found the back portion of Unit 53 involved and fire spreading to a few outbuildings that are along the fence line and the freeway and also to Unit 52”, said Atascadero Fire Department Captain Bill White.
Dozens of firefighters and engines from Atascadero Fire Department, CalFire and neighboring agencies responded.
“Crews made a really good aggressive stop to contain the fire to those two units and from keeping it from spreading to the adjacent mobile homes”, White said.
The fire caused major damage to Unit 53 in what appeared to be a total loss and significant damage to the neighboring unit.
No one was hurt but a family dog from Unit 53 was unaccounted for after the fire was put out.
“This is the second (fire) for me at this location”, said Unit 53 neighbor Kathy Choate who was in Morro Bay when the fire started, “the first fire that happened here started on the easement on the Highway and it was put out, we didn’t lose any homes, but it was a close call for everyone, very close, too close.”
Choate was emotional at the devastation from the fire and angry over how she thinks it started.
“I want to speak to the people who are irresponsible”, Choate said standing outside the burned out Unit 53, “I watched in the last two days, I watched people throw a cigarette out of their car, lit, its not put out, its lit, that ember will carry 150 miles, it travels, I know, you think its going to go out, it doesn’t go out, it travels.”
The cause of the fire remains under investigation.