After earthquake, fire destroys units at Napa mobile home park (w/video)

Up to six units in a Napa County mobile home complex were destroyed by a fire that was likely triggered by the 6.0 magnitude earthquake that struck the Bay Area early Sunday morning.

Dozens of residents at the Napa Valley Mobile Home Park, off Orchard Avenue, were evacuated into the center’s clubhouse. In addition to the four destroyed homes, two units sustained serious damage and fire officials were assessing whether they could be recovered. No injuries were reported, fire officials said.

The fire was out by about noon. Two other structure fires in the city occurred following the earthquake - one was a mobile home in a different park, said Barry Martin, Napa city spokesman.

While the cause of the fires remained under investigation it likely involved gas lines that ruptured during the quake.

“A trailer would rock and tear a gas line loose easier than a fixed structure,” Martin said.

Lorraine Balbi, 67, said she narrowly escaped the flames that engulfed her unit at the mobile park shortly after the earthquake hit at 3:20 a.m.

“I’ve never felt anything like that,” she said. “I could hear everything crashing.”

She said she heard her neighbor screaming her name and looked out her front door to see flames climbing from her unit’s gas main. She grabbed her dog, her cellphone and cellphone charger. Minutes later, her home was destroyed.

“The house is gone. The car is gone,” she said, her voice breaking. “Everything.”

Efforts to extinguish the flames were hindered by water main breaks in the area, fire officials said.

Residents were told early Sunday that it could be several days before they are able to return to their homes in the complex.

Resident Andre Van Derheyden said he and his wife were jolted awake by the quake.

“It blew us out of bed,” he said.

By the time the couple were able to gather their dog and get outside, Balbi’s home next door was on fire, he said.

“Thank heaven we are fine, but I feel so bad for my neighbor,” said Van Derheyden.

Staff Writer Randi Rossmann contributed to this story. You can reach Staff Writer Derek Moore at 815-1003 or On Twitter @deadlinederek.

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