Donors help San José mobile home park fire victims get new home

Mercury News August 22, 2017

SAN JOSE — Almost a week after a tragic fire killed two schoolchildren and a man at Golden Wheel Mobile Home Park, a team of generous donors have stepped up to replace the charred mobile home for the mourning family.

San José Councilmen Raul Peralez and Tam Nguyen are expected to announce Wednesday a donation from Advantage Homes, a San José-based home provider, to the family who lost their mobile home in the Aug. 15 blaze.

Uyen Tran, 10, who lived inside the home, was killed along with her uncle, Tim Bui, 62. Her classmate and best friend, Linda Van, 10, also died in the fire. The cause is still under investigation.

“Everybody is so happy,” said Quang Vu, Linda’s uncle and neighbor, about the donation of a new home. “Right now, they don’t have a home.”

A Los Angeles billionaire, Kieu Hoang, who gave $5 million to Coyote Creek flood victims earlier this year, also offered to donate $100,000 for cleanup costs and the installation of the new mobile home. The home will be delivered and installed after clean up and demolition is finished.

Three families were impacted by the fire and six people remain displaced, according to city officials.

“I don’t think we expected this type of tremendous response. This is unheard of — to have a brand new home,” Peralez said. “The family was in tears. They’re without a home right now and they’re staying with family. To not have to worry about where they’ll go next is really important.”

Nguyen, who helped facilitate the donations from Advantage Homes and Hoang, said the community has banded together to help a working class neighborhood that was also hit by the floods in February.

“We’re all in so much pain,” Nguyen said Tuesday. “I have a daughter too so I know how it feels. But they’ve seen the whole community come together and it gives them a sense of comfort.”

The owners of Advantage Homes, Todd and Cindy Su, are lifelong San José residents, the councilman said.

The donations will be announced in a news conference 1:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Golden Wheel Mobile Home Park, Space 219. In addition to Peralez and Nguyen, other expected officials include state Sen. Jim Beall, Assemblyman Ash Kalra and Mayor Sam Liccardo.