Collage of Rancho Monserate Holiday Breakfast

Celebrating Rancho Monserate’s Recovery and Resilience a Year after the Lilac Fire

When the Lilac Fire ripped through the Fallbrook area last December, it tore a path of destruction through the Rancho Monserate mobile home park, burning down 74 residences.

Our employees who saw the destruction in the immediate aftermath of the Lilac Fire have never forgotten about the seniors who call Rancho Monserate home.

Today, some of our employees returned to the mobile home park to host and serve a hot breakfast to the seniors who live there. In lieu of the holiday events that they typically have, our facilities team decided to celebrate the residents’ recovery and resilience with a holiday breakfast. 

About two dozen of our employees volunteered to serve breakfast to about 150 residents at the mobile home park club house. As residents enjoyed French toast, coffee, tea, hot chocolate, pastries, and holiday cookies, they shared with each other their fire recovery milestones. To date 64 of 74 homes destroyed have been rebuilt or going to be. Several residents at the breakfast mentioned that they were on the cusp of moving back into the park, after living in rentals over the past year.

Rancho Strong Spirit

The breakfast was the brainchild of John Ritter, our facilities and operations support manager.  John, who passes by Rancho Monserate every day on his commute to work, has thought often about the residents who live there because he knew what they went through. He also has a big heart for seniors because he began his career in facilities maintenance at a retirement home.

Right after the fire, our facilities team provided bottled water, hot coffee and snacks to residents, charged park resident’s golf carts, and powered the club house with a generator. We also raised a new American flag at the club house, because the old one was damaged by the fire. Raising the flag amid the fire destruction was a vivid memory for the facilities team.

More Information
To learn how Rancho Monserate is faring a year after the fire, check out this San Diego Union-Tribune article on the one-year anniversary of the fire or read this KPBS story.