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Henderson mobile home park resident recounts 4-alarm fire

Karen Gerken and dogs
Posted at 1:20 PM, Jun 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-21 23:30:49-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — There’s a lack of power in one part of the Henderson mobile home park where a fast-moving fire damaged eight homes. No power means no air conditioning, and in this sweltering heat that’s a big issue for residents who live in that part of the park.

Karen Gerken and her dogs sit in their car with the engine on and the AC blowing cool air. She has no power in her home, so to escape the heat her car gives her some relief. She’s open to going to the Heritage Park Senior Facility where displaced residents can go but she’s considering options.

RELATED STORY: Fire at Henderson mobile home park destroys 8 homes

“If it’s going to be on at 10, if not, I’m going to have to get a motel room.”

It’s been a long day for Gerken. She didn’t get much sleep Sunday night. She says she heard loud booms from either fireworks or a transformer inside the Alta Vista Mobile Home Park in Henderson.

“It shook the windows. It was that loud,” she said.

A fire broke out and Henderson firefighters say the wind helped move the flames quickly.

“They were big, especially in the middle,” Gerken said.

The fire jumped from unit to unit. First responders telling people to get out.

“Police come running and says everybody needs to evacuate and they cut a hole behind this trailer and in through the fence,” she said.

Gerken says she began corralling her dogs and grabbed them in the midst of the panic.

“He ran in and tried hiding and I’m trying to get a leash on him because they’re saying get out get out get out,” she said.

She and about 100 residents made it outside safely. Henderson officials say 8 units were damaged and two firefighters were injured while trying to put out the blaze. Fire officials had the power shut off in the mobile home park as a precaution.

The Red Cross will be at the Heritage Park Senior Facility for the next few days to provide help to anyone who needs it from the mobile home park.