SUNNYVALE -- One person was found dead inside a fire-ravaged mobile home shared by a senior couple after a blaze broke out around 12:25 p.m. Wednesday -- the second fatal mobile home fire in a week, fire officials said.
The Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety was called to the Rancho La Mesa mobile home park off El Camino Real, where arriving crews found heavy smoke and flames coming from a residence.
Claudine Herbelin, who lives at the Rancho La Mesa park off El Camino Real, was one of the first people to rush to the scene after seeing waves of brown smoke emanating from the home.
"There were three men with garden hoses trying to put it out from outside," Herbelin said.
She said the men were banging on the sides of the home to alert anyone who might be inside.
"We didn't know if anyone was in there," she said. "One of the guys said someone tried to go in, but couldn't see a thing with all the smoke."
She said soon flames started coming out of one of the windows, and fire crews arrived.
The fire was brought under control in about 15 minutes by 25 firefighters, who prevented it from spreading to other units in the densely-packed park.
"The units were able to protect the exposure," said fire Capt. Jeff Hunter. "They did a good job."
The deceased is believed to be the woman who lived in the home, but was badly burned and identification will be made by the Santa Clara County Medical Examiner's Office. It was not available Wednesday afternoon.
The male resident was out when the fire started and returned to find crews still fighting the fire, Hunter said.
"It was hard finding out that she was in there," said Herbelin. "I was worried about the husband, it's heartbreaking that he came home to see that."
Neighbors said they didn't know the couple well, and that they kept to themselves.
"Most people who live in this park go to work, then come home and that's it," said Herbelin.
The cause of the fire is under investigation, but it is not believed to be suspicious.
It was the second fatal fire in a Sunnyvale mobile home park in less than a week.
On May 8, a tragedy unfolded five miles across town at the Cape Cod Village park when a fast-moving kitchen fire claimed the lives of a man and his wife. The man rescued his developmentally disabled son from the unit after the blaze broke out in the early morning hours, but perished when he went back to save his spouse.
Capt. Hunter said that fire was caused by a "tragic accident."
Contact Eric Kurhi at 408-920-5852. Follow him at Twitter.com/erickurhi.