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March 19, 2023

Woman injured in Watsonville mobile home blaze

WATSONVILLE—A woman was injured when a fire roared through her mobile home Thursday at Meadows Manor, 49 Blanca Lane.

Michelle Pulido, spokeswoman for Watsonville Police, said two good Samaritans burst through the front door of the single-wide home after they spotted flames and smoke barreling out of unit 602. Though the pair was met with a wall of flames and smoke inside the home, they managed to yank the solo resident, who neighbors said was in her 80s, to safety.

Miguel Hernandez, who lives in the same park, said he was walking to his car when he noticed heavy smoke emanating from unit 602 just after 9am.

“I ran over and tried the door but it was locked,” he said. “So I broke open the door. I was immediately surrounded by smoke and fire. I didn’t know what to do. I was calling for anyone that needed help and I heard nothing. Then I looked down and I saw this woman’s foot.”

Just then another man, an off-duty police officer who chose not to give his name, teamed up with Hernandez.

“We grabbed her feet and pulled her out the front door,” Hernandez said. “She had some burns but she was breathing and crying; I think she’ll be OK.”

The victim was flown by CALSTAR air ambulance to an out-of-county burn unit.

Violet Gonzalez said she has been a neighbor of the victim since 1997.

“Everyone around here helps take care of each other,” she said. “I’d bring her dinner all the time—whatever I was cooking. She’s such a nice lady. I was coming home from driving all night from Tijuana. I was just getting in my home when I heard people yelling. That’s when I saw the flames and smoke. I was shaking; I was so scared.”

Firefighters from North Monterey County, Santa Cruz Central and Cal Fire assisted Watsonville Fire in tackling the fire which is still under investigation.

Tarmo Hannula
Tarmo Hannula has been the lead photographer with The Pajaronian newspaper in Watsonville since 1997. He also reports on a wide range of topics, including police, fire, environment, schools, the arts and events. A fifth generation Californian, Tarmo was born in the Mother Lode of the Sierra (Columbia) and has lived in Santa Cruz County since the late 1970s. He earned a BA from UC Santa Cruz and has traveled to 33 countries.


  1. a big thank you to the neighbors who lived near her and all fire department employees who assisted in this sad incident.

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  2. ST, a big thank you if you decide to move out of the county. You are a sad incident all by yourself.

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