Del Norte County

Blighted Motel is Intentionally Burned Down for Practice Burn by Local Firefighters


We were appointed as the Receiver of this old, dilapidated roadside motel. The dangerous conditions onsite were so dire that it was not feasible to reconstruct this property. Rooms in the Motel lacked running water, walls and ceilings were significantly deteriorated, the electrical wiring was not safe, and there was evidence of asbestos. Initially we felt that the most cost effective option for this property was to demolish it. However, when the local volunteer fire department heard about this they contacted us with a request to undertake a controlled burn of the structure for training purposes. This solution would save the Motel owners tens of thousands of dollars in demolition costs and would benefit the larger community as firefighters were provided with an opportunity to practice their skills. Six different fire departments, including the fire brigade from the nearby Pelican Bay maximum security prison, worked together to safely burn the motel down. The property was then cleared and sold to a local investor.


Prior to Controlled Burn Receivership Ensures Motel Occupants Have Safe Alternative Housing


At the time of our appointment, there were still people residing on the property who had arranged long-term stays with motel management, yet upon further investigation we learned that these people were actually squatting at the property and not paying guests of the motel. We needed to relocate these people so that we could begin our work to remedy the health and safety violations onsite. However, it came to our attention that these individuals were not able to afford other housing and did not have the means to move. We were able to assist them by providing them with the funds necessary to relocate to alternative and safer housing. Furthermore, we worked with them to secure new accommodation by communicating with their new landlords and in some cases assisting them physically with the move. One of the squatters was in a wheelchair and required a special accommodation to be relocated.