Well-liked man dies in overnight RV fire in Redding

May 14, 2014 9:50 PM

Redding’s Riverside Village Mobile Home Park community is heartbroken after their neighbor died in an overnight trailer fire.

Neighbors say they lost a kind-hearted, loving man.

“I heard a lot of people banging on the door and people yelling…and I saw fire so I ran out and came over here and tried to open the door…I had to run and get the crowbar and by that time it was just too late.”

Flames had almost fully engulfed the trailer that 47-year-old Michael Jones was living in. The fire started shortly after midnight and it spread so fast, Jerry had to back off.

“The heat was so intense I knew if I didn’t get back out I probably wouldn’t have made it out.”

Neighbors say Jones was passed out from drinking earlier that night; he was a deliveryman for ‘Mission Tortillas’, who worked late hours.

Close neighbors to Jones say he would hand out leftovers from his shift to anyone who needed food.

“He would give the shirt off his back to anybody…he’d bend over backwards to help you out…”

David Coventry moved to the mobile park about a year ago, and says Jones welcomed him with open arms.

“He was really kindhearted…he loved kids.”

Michael Jones was also a father figure to many of the children here at Riverside Village -- he bought a bike for one of the kids who had his stolen recently.

“He always played with us with this football…he bought McDonald’s every Tuesday…he was a great, man I love him.”

According to neighbors, it was common for Jones to forget to turn off his stove.

This afternoon, investigators with the Redding Fire Department determined that was what killed Jones.

Fire Inspector Craig Wittner says it's unfortunate that Jones lost his life, likely because of one simple measure that wasn’t taken.

“He would likely be alive today if there’d been an operable smoke alarm in the residence.”

One thing is for sure -- Michael Jones certainly made his mark in this Redding community.

“It’s just so hard to believe, it’s really hard to believe…he will be missed dearly.”

Friends and family of Michael Jones say they’re holding vigil tonight in his honor at the Riverside Village RV Park.


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