Mendocino Sheriff Releases Information on New Year’s Day Fire in Willits

Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office press release:

mcsoOn 01-01-2016 at approximately 9:37 AM, Deputies from the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office were dispatched to conduct a coroner’s investigation into the death of a two year-old male in the 22000 block of Eastside Road in Willits, California.

Fire and medical personnel were already at the location when the Deputies arrived.  A total of three structures and two vehicles had been damaged by a fire at the location.

A recreational vehicle (RV) which had served as a family home was completely destroyed during the fire.

Deputies were told that the family’s mother stepped out of the RV briefly while her sons, ages two and fourteen months, slept inside the RV with their father.

The father exited the RV a short time later, telling the mother the inside of the RV was on fire.

Both parents entered the RV to retrieve their children and were able to rescue their youngest son but were driven back by the heat of the rapidly growing fire and were not able to rescue their two year-old son.  The two year-old son was later found deceased inside the RV.

The fourteen month-old son suffered burns over approximately 40 percent of his body and was flown by air ambulance to UC Davis Medical Center.

Both parents suffered burn injuries in the rescue of the one child and the attempted rescue of the other child.

The father was treated for significant burn injuries at Frank Howard Memorial Hospital in Willits and the mother suffered less severe burn injuries.

The initial investigation suggests a propane space heater may have been the cause of the fire but the official determination is pending as the investigation into the cause of the fire is still ongoing at this time.

Names of the involved persons are not being released at this time as the investigation is ongoing and the Coroner as yet to positively confirm the identity of the two year-old child reported to have died during the fire.

Earlier Chapter: One Dead, Multiple Burn Patients at Willits Structure Fire

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24 comments

  • Pingback: One Dead, Multiple Burn Patients at Willits Structure Fire – Redheaded Blackbelt

  • thats sad
    i use those types of heaters in my trailer when camping
    sometimes safety shut off doesnt work when tipped over
    condolences to the family

  • WHY in the world didn’t the father get those babies OUT FIRST!!!

    • Sometimes individuals don’t think so clearly during a catastrophic event. No one should judge why anyone did or did not do a certain task in a specific order. Kym, Is there a gofundme set up for their family? Or somewhere to drop off donations?

    • How can you ask a question like that???!!! A family is in pain! Don’t you think those young parents did everything they possibly COULD to save both children!!!???? YOU were not there! YOU don’t know the position of the people involved. You have no right to take away from the time and energy this family needs for tending to the business of a death in the family, with your crass, inconsiderate, meant-to-inflict pain, inhumane comments. Let this family grieve in peace. I am appalled and disgusted by the negative comments being made. If you can’t be KIND, shut up!

  • Why in the world did he not just grab both babies, you have two arms……..Rest in peace little guy. So sad…………..

  • Asking why das couldn’t get both kids helps no one. I understand the question but there’s nothing to be done about it now except support for family. When a traumatic incident is occurring time often changes in that it usually slows but quickens at the same time. Fires are hard to read, and chances are one of the parents may have perished as well.
    Lets hope we never have to go thru something like this, its hard to know what any one person would do. Some really tough people freeze in scary situations, you just dont know until trauma happens to you personally.
    Glass houses and rocks, etc

  • may these folks find some peace soon in their dire need and pain. i am truly sorry.

    i’m going to imagine dad sound asleep when the fire started. a fire burning fast, making a lot of acrid smoke, which he was breathing, before he jolted awake.
    i can easily see myself waking up and being disoriented and not knowing what to do where to go as this tiny rv filled with dense and toxic smoke – i can easily see myself freaking out, and maybe, maybe thinking mom and kids were out already?

    please think the ‘why didn’t’s’, but keep them in a place where it can’t hurt the these folks, nor any of those folk involved.

    i can imagine people close to them thinking those same dreadful ‘why & why didn’t’s’.

    i think i understand some reasons most of us, me included, have those awful negative mental images and outbursts.
    so, how can we (those not involved in any way & don’t know the victims) stop our knee-jerk reactions of blaming and shaming, our display’s of lacking compassion and empathy?
    people are so complex and varied. as i ask myself that question i have no answer.

    it is my wake up call to do a check of my environment in an effort to try to keep my loved ones safe, sound and loved for another night,
    and remind my neighbors to do the same.

  • HERE WE GO AGAIN!!!! I HAVE YET TO GIVE MY STATEMENT TO THE SHERIFF’S!!! I JUST LOST MY SON AND MY BABY IS IN ICU ALONG WITH THERE FATHER!!!!!! I HAVENT EVEN HAD TIME TO TALK TO THE SHERIFF’S!!! WHEN THEY TRIED TALKING TO ME I WAS SO UPSET OVER MY SON THAT I COULDNT EVEN SPELL MY OWN FUCKING MIDDLE NAME!!! SO THEY LEFT IT AT THAT AND SAID WE WILL TALK TO YOU LATER!!!! I STILL HAVE NOT YET BEEN ABLE TO SPEAK TO THEM!!!! MY BOYS WERE NOT SLEEPING THEY WERE PLAYING AND WATCHING A MOVIE WHEN I STEPPED OUT TO GET THEIR CEREAL!!!! MY HUSBAND TRIED HARD I TRIED HARD!!! PROPANE TANKS BLOWS IT TAKE UR OXYGEN AWAY SO THATS WHY HE FLEW OUTSIDE MY HUSBAND BURNED GOING IN AFTER OUR TWO YEAR OLD IT WAS IN FLAMES AND HE WAS STILL TRYING TO GET IN HE DIDN’T KNOW WHERE HE WAS!!!! COULDNT SEE COULDNT BREATHE JUST FEELING AROUND HIS FACE IS BURNED COMPLETELY HE CANT OPEN HIS EYES CUZ THEY ARE BURNED SO BADLY ENOUGH FUCKING SAID!!!!

    • I am so sorry for your loss. What a true horror. Your angel’s spirit is in my prayers. Your other son and husband are in my prayers for complete and fast healing. I pray for all of your hearts.

      These reports are more often than not incomplete with no statement from the actual people involved because they are released as soon as possible. Sometimes the scanner information is inaccurate. There is no names given of the “witnesses” or deputies.

      The real pathetic thing is some people take the small amount of information provided and believe it is 100% accurate and complete. How naive. Then to make crude and/or judgemental statements is wrong. I have wondered if these people ever donate anything to the families they bash. I doubt they ever are there for anyone who is actually suffering guilt.

      I understand this, cause my family was reported on. No one ever even tried to contact me to see if I wanted to provide more information or give a followup. I would have been easy to contact too. My actions/lack of actions were assumed and questioned, BUT some strangers were kind and understanding, not assuming the worst.

      Try to focus on the kindness, the understanding and compassion many of us our offering.

      I am so sorry.

    • MOMMA, I know you are in pain, you are sad, angry, devastated… PLEASE do not read the comments in the articles, people can be kind, but the trolls will write things , senseless things that you do not need to see right now. Take care of your babies and know that there are those of us out here you have never met who are loving on you, praying for your family and using social media to spread the word about your financial needs as well as needs for clothng and housing for your family. What size clothes and shoes do you need? Do you have food? Who can we contact to get items to you? FU@% the trolls, use this moment to let us help your family. We are here and we will do what we can. Also is there anyone in Arcata Eureka and MCK that can take in donations for you of household items who can also get them to you? MUCHO LOVE, PRAYERS, PEACE, and gosh, I am so so sorry about your beautiful babies!!!!!

    • Sweet momma, Please use that power that anger to will with all you have for your surviving family… they need you. Please read what I wrote earlier.. There are those of us ready and willing to help.

    • Hi hon, this is Leroy’s cousin, Tara’s mom. Don’t let the ignorant people affect you. Karma is hell, when it is paid back to them. Love you all.
      Lavern

  • Really sorry for your loss, impossible to imagine what you are going through.

  • If they were sleeping both boys would be here cuz they sleep with us

    • mother, i have no words that could ever help make you feel whole or safe or help you feel at all. my deepest sympathy to you and those who love you and your family.

      mother, i can say with certainty that i’ve recently seen the same kind of rv fire next door to me, and it was exactly as you’ve describe your tragedy today.
      we were fortunate that the fire here didn’t burn my neighbor really badly. he too was asleep when the propane tank blew up and blew him out of his rv.

      i believe every word you’ve said here.
      i’m sad to say i don’t think you had a chance against this kind of explosive, hot and fast moving fire.
      i am so sorry.

  • Compassionate human

    Mother
    Don’t listen to the assholes who are judging you or your husbands actions from the comfort of their recliner. I know you both did everything you could. I’m so sorry.

  • Pingback: Two Victims of New Year’s Day Fire in Hospital as Family Looks for Funds to Bury Two-Year-Old – Redheaded Blackbelt

  • The father is my cousin and I promise you ge would have given his life to save them babies.

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