Most residents left with nothing after LNU Complex Fire destroys North Bay mobile home park

Wayne Freedman Image
ByWayne Freedman KGO logo
Wednesday, August 26, 2020
Fire ravages North Bay mobile home park, residents left with nothing
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Residents reunite with what was once their home at a Spanish Flat mobile home park near Lake Berryessa after it was ravaged by the LNU Lightning Complex Fire.

NAPA COUNTY, Calif. (KGO) -- In the courtyard of a Napa hotel, we watched a reunion Tuesday morning, under tragic circumstances.

"We have each other here. That's all we have," said Michele Quecke, who also has memories of what used to be a quiet, modest life in the Spanish Flat Mobile Home Villa near Lake Berryessa.

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Only heated, twisted, warped wreckage remain now. The charred metal and ashes in Space 21 are all that remain from 40 year of Michele's life, here.

"I never thought it would happen," Quecke said. "Thought we would go back home. Knew they would save it. Not this time."

When the fire roared through Tuesday night of last week, it came after two days of warnings.

PHOTOS: LNU Lightning Complex Fire ravages Spanish Flats Mobile Home Villa

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Residents hug after the LNU Lightning Complex Fire ravaged the Spanish Flat Mobile Home Villa in Napa County, Calif. on Aug. 25, 2020.

Residents thought that fire fighters had been doing a good job of holding those flames at bay, until they weren't. At the end, they had half an hour to get out.

"I looked back and saw this mushroom cloud and knew everything was gone," recalled assistant manager Dan Davenport, who went door-to-door while warning people.

By then, "Both sides of the road were on fire," said Kit Ellis.

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Out of 59 homes here, three survived. His was one of them.

"Grace of God," Ellis said.

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Worse yet, most residents here did not have insurance. Not even those who owned their units. The Red Cross says they can remain in this hotel as long as they need. For Michelle and others, that may be awhile.

"I don't know. I don't know," said Michelle. "I'd planned on dying there."

She could have easily. Finally, one other poignant fact. The night that fire destroyed Michele's life? It was her 63rd birthday.

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Get the latest updates and videos on the CZU, LNU and SCU Lightning Complex Fires here.