Last Friday, grandmother Patricia Carpenter, mother Shannon Olivo and her children--17-year-old Jonathan, 13-year-old Ariana and 6-year-old Jacob--lost everything when fire destroyed their mobile home in Orange. That includes clothing, household items and even Christmas presents. Currently, the family and their three cats, who all managed to get out safe, are living in a motel through the assistance of the Red Cross. They cannot afford to move into an apartment. So, a fund has been created to help get them into suitable housing.
The Carpenter-Olivo family had resided in the Park Royale mobile home at 300 N. Rampart St. for the past eight years before a "strange flame" appeared in their oven on Jan. 3. Orange firefighters came to the residence, checked the source and gave the all-clear after showing the family how to turn off their home's gas shut-off valve to the locked position.
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Three days later, the flame reappeared and ultimately engulfed the mobile home. The fire was later blamed on a natural gas leak. Besides drawing attention to their plight, Carpenter hopes to raise awareness by having homeowners and renters visit the Southern California Gas Co.'s "How to Recognize and Respond to a Gas Leak" page.
Meanwhile, her family is relying on the generosity of friends and strangers to change their circumstances.
"I am the father of the displaced family, I have lived in Orange County all of my life," George Olivo, who does not reside with his former wife and children, writes on a WePay donation page, "and I know that this community will work together to help us get through this disastrous point in our lives and turn this around into a positive fresh new start for the children."
We've got a ways to go. As of this posting, $150 has been collected.