Mobile home fire claims life

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Police: Foul play not suspected

By Martin Salazar

A 46-year-old Las Vegas woman perished in a mobile home fire early Wednesday morning after managing to get her daughter out of the burning structure.

The fire erupted at the Enchanted Hills Mobile Home Park off Seventh Street at about 1 a.m. Wednesday.

The Las Vegas Fire Department declined to release the name or gender of the person who died, saying that the Office of the Medical Investigator would need to make a positive identification. But family and friends identified her as Sonia Baca, a mother of three and waitress at Estella’s Cafe.

Adrian Baca, one of the woman’s sons, said his 19-year-old brother and 14-year-old sister were in the home when it caught fire. He said his brother was able to get out on his own but his mother  helped his sister get out.

“She was kind hearted. She got my sister out,” Adrian Baca said, his voice cracking.

He said both his siblings are doing OK and that the fire is believed to have been electrical.

An account to help Baca’s family has been set up at State Employees Credit Union under: Memorial Fund for Sonia Baca and Kids.

Las Vegas Fire Chief Phillip Mares said firefighters were dispatched to the mobile home at about 1 a.m. He said the initial call they received was that there were possibly three people inside the home.

But when they arrived, they found that two of the individuals had managed to get out.

Mares said the two individuals were taken to the hospital for treatment and were released.

Mares said firefighters managed to bring the fire under control quickly, but due to it being an older mobile home, the fire spread rapidly and the home was a total loss. He said nine firefighters, including the chief, battled the blaze.

He wouldn’t speculate on what might have started the blaze.

Mares said the fire is under investigation, explaining that both the state Fire Marshal’s Office and Las Vegas Police are looking into it.

Las Vegas Police Chief Christian Montaño said foul play isn’t suspected. He said the cause of the fire had not been officially determined yet.

The spokesman for the state Fire Marshal’s Office hadn’t responded to a message as of press time.

News of the fire and of Baca’s death spread through the community Wednesday, leaving co-workers and friends in shock.

“It’s a tragic, tragic loss,” said Adelita Lujan of Estella’s. “She’s an amazing woman.”

Lujan said Baca began working at Estella’s in 1999 and worked at the Bridge Street restaurant for several years before taking a break to take care of her mother.

She said Baca started working at the restaurant regularly again this summer.

“It’s been a long day,” Lujan said Wednesday. “It’s been a very long day.”

Adrian Baca said his mother had lived in the mobile home for about 18 years. On Wednesday afternoon, family members sifted through the charred rubble collecting family photos and whatever else they could find that survived the blaze.

“She was a good samaritan. She was a friend to so many people,” Adrian Baca said of his mother, calling her selfless and the type of person who always thought of others first.