ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Early Friday morning fire guts another trailer at Bob's Trailer Court

The Rochester Fire Department responded to a call of a mobile home on fire at 12:19 a.m. Friday, Feb. 3, as efforts continue to shut down trailer park.

Trailer Fire.jpg
A firefighter extinguishes a fire at a mobile home in Rochester Friday, Feb. 3, 2023.
Contributed / Rochester Fire Department

ROCHESTER — A second fire in less than four months was reported Friday, Feb. 3, 2023, at Bob’s Trailer Court as the process to empty the park continues.

At 12:19 a.m, Rochester Fire responded to a call of a mobile home on fire in the park at 1915 Marion Road SE. The first crews on scene found heavy fire and smoke coming from multiple openings on the home, according to the department’s press release.

The extreme cold overnight resulted in icy surfaces and equipment. The exterior fire was extinguished, and crews went inside to search for victims and extinguish remaining hot spots.

No victims were found and no injuries were reported. The mobile home and its contents are a total loss. The cause of the fire is being investigated.

The incident occurred after the property owner, Pennsylvania-based TSJ Parks LLC, reportedly had electricity turned off for trailers that were not legally occupied, and Olmsted County Housing Director Dave Dunn said Friday morning it’s unclear how many people legally remain in the park.

ADVERTISEMENT

“We’re still trying to get some of those details,” he said.

The park lost water service on Nov. 17, which led to a court order to restore service, as well as a negotiated agreement with legal occupants of three trailers as water service remained unavailable.

Details of the agreement have not yet been publicly filed with the court, but Brian Lipford, an attorney with Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services, said the tenants he represents have until the spring to move but are working to leave sooner, if possible.

It’s unclear how many tenants remain at the park.

Cassandra Jakobson of Jakobson Property Management, which currently oversees the park at 1915 Marion Road SE, said in December that 14 of the 19 trailers in the park were vacant, but unknown individuals have periodically occupied them without the owner's consent.

She said efforts to clear people without a legal lease on a trailer or site had been ongoing, following the eviction of several former occupants.

One of the trailers has remained on the site after being gutted by an Oct. 28 fire.

TSJ Parks purchased the trailer park for $1.3 million in 2021 and announced plans last year to close the park and eventually build a 30-unit low-income, senior housing complex on the property.

ADVERTISEMENT

Since some of the trailers were owned by residents and others were leased, the process to clear the park has been complicated.

TSJ Parks notified all tenants that they were expected to leave in October, but legal requirements can take a year for the removal of owner-occupied trailers.

Olmsted County Administrator Heidi Welsch said the county’s housing stability team has been working with anyone staying at the trailer park – legally or illegally – to help them find housing.

She said some people haven’t taken the offer, but staff will continue to reach out.

“When they do decide they want some help, we will be there,” she said.

Abby Sharpe joined the Post Bulletin in February 2022 after graduating from Arizona State University with a sports journalism degree. While at ASU, she created short- and long-form stories for audio and digital. Readers can reach Abby at 507-285-7723 or asharpe@postbulletin.com.
What To Read Next
Get Local

ADVERTISEMENT