VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — The community will gather at the Colonial Run Mobile Home Park on Saturday to pay respects to a 59-year-old man who died after being pulled from his burning home.
John, as neighbors identified him, got trapped inside his mobile home on Tuesday at the complex on Baker Road. Medics rushed him to the hospital, and officials say he died on Wednesday.
Investigators say the fire, which was ruled accidental, started in a bedroom. Crews rescued John from the home and then spent 15 minutes putting out the blaze.
“I think we are all mourning right now,” said Heather Pack. “I was hoping he wasn’t in there, but it turns out he was.”
Pack says she moved to the mobile home park six years ago after her trailer at another park caught fire. She lost most of her material possessions.
She says John was a friendly and upbeat man who often drove around the complex with his dog and played music.
“After going through what I went through, I immediately started to pray for him knowing the suffering and the loss,” said Pack. “But losing his life is just very difficult.”
Jim, another neighbor who has been homeless for a few years, says says John helped him out when he had the means.
“He would let me over and get a shower, he brought me some food [and] he brought a pair of shoes one time,” said Jim.
Pack is now warning her neighbors to safeguard their trailers.
“You just got to keep up with everything and make sure everything is up to date and take care of your home just like if you were to live in a house.”
The memorial is set for Saturday, Oct. 28 at 12 p.m. Those who wish to come are asked to bring flowers, balloons and/or teddy bears as loved ones recount stories and try to move past the tragedy together.