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Fire sends 2 to burn center
Early morning blaze destroys mobile home
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Jeanette Russell was awakened by the glow of the fire in a mobile home in the space behind hers at Almond Blossom Mobile Home Park Friday morning. She rushed to calls for help from her friend Bernadette Llamas who was brought out of her home by her son Richard. Russell found them both sitting in the gutter near the front of the mobile home and dragged the 88-year-old woman away from the raging fire. - photo by GLENN KAHL

A mother and a son are in the burn unit at the University of California at Davis Medical Center after a fire destroyed their mobile home in East Manteca shortly before 4 a.m. Friday.

Bernie Llamas, 88, is in critical condition and was taken directly to the burn center by a REACH helicopter ambulance out of Stockton Metro Airport. Her son Richard was taken to San Joaquin County General Hospital and was later transported by helicopter to the burn center.

The fire occurred in the Almond Blossom Mobile Home Park located on the northeast corner of the East Yosemite Avenue and Pestana Avenue intersection.

The fire department reported receiving multiple 911 calls from neighbors alerting them to the fire with two people trapped inside, according to Battalion Chief Kyle Shipherd.

Shipherd indicated the loss to the structure was estimated at $100,000 with a $50,000 loss in contents.

Neighbors said Bernie Llamas, 88, was pulled from the inferno by her son Richard, who sustained serious burns to his hands and arms.  His mother was burned over 50 percent of her body, according to an official spokesman.

Jeanette Russell who lives in another mobile home that backs up to the one that was on fire,  saw the glow from the flames and ran to her friend’s aid when she heard her calling for help.  She said she found the neighbor and her son sitting together in the gutter in front of the burning structure.

Russell pulled the woman by the arms away from the flames across the street as firefighters and medics arrived on the scene with flames shooting out both sides of the home, a neighbor said.   A ‘90s Buick sedan parked next to the home was also destroyed by fire and a falling carport roof.

Another woman living next to the burning mobile home was using a garden hose on her residence to keep the flames and heat at bay, although plastics were melting.  Firefighters arrived and ordered her away from the flames. The fire caused blistering to her face and neck, witnesses said.

Firefighters said that flames were blowing out both sides of the mobile home when they arrived.  They focused on two adjacent residences fearing they would catch fire from the extreme heat being emitted by the blaze.  They received only superficial damage, according to a fire department spokesman.

The woman was airlifted in a REACH air ambulance from the campus of the Calvary Community Church on Lathrop Road where she had been taken by a Manteca Ambulance crew.  Her son was transported by ambulance to San Joaquin General Hospital in French Camp for treatment of his burns.

Manteca Fire Department responded with three fire engines and one truck with 14 personnel, including two firefighters and an engine from Lathrop, two battalion chiefs and Chief Kirk Waters.

Fire investigators were pouring over the rubble throughout the day attempting to learn the cause of the fire.