Fire department personnel were still investigating the fire at Windmill Mobile Estates on May 28.
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Nicholas Maverick Yray, 71, is the resident of Windmill Mobile Estates who died in a structure fire the night of May 27, according to the Santa Clara County Coroner’s Office.

Yray had lived in the park, located off San Pedro Avenue in southeast Morgan Hill, for nearly 20 years, according to Windmill Estates Manager Elena Miles.

“Nick was a great person. He had a great heart,” Miles said Friday. “He would do anything for anybody.”

Firefighters responded to the blaze at Yray’s double wide mobile home about 11:15pm May 27. By the time the first crews arrived, the home was almost fully covered with flames, according to authorities.

The home was completely destroyed before the fire department could extinguish the fire. Authorities said later that the fire resulted in one human fatality and the death of a dog.

The cause of the fire is under investigation. A spokesperson for the coroner’s office said Yray’s cause and manner of death are “pending.”

Miles said she happened to look out her window Wednesday night and saw smoke coming from a unit close by. “I ran out my door, ran over to (Yray’s) house and you could see where it was on fire, and I started yelling for him to get out,” Miles said. She said by the time she got close enough to yell toward the home, the structure was “almost fully engulfed.”

Numerous residents had begun to call 911 as soon as the smoke was visible. Miles and her husband immediately grabbed a fire hose and connected it to a hydrant to try to put out the flames.

Miles praised other residents of the park, who also began directing their garden hoses on the inferno. “They were all helping out, trying to put the fire out. They stayed on it until the fire department got there,” Miles said. “All of (the residents) tried to help. Our whole community got together to try to help, to do whatever they could.”

Miles said the dog that died in the fire belonged to Yray’s prospective new roommate, who was planning to move in as a caretaker this week.

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Michael Moore is an award-winning journalist who has worked as a reporter and editor for the Morgan Hill Times, Hollister Free Lance and Gilroy Dispatch since 2008. During that time, he has covered crime, breaking news, local government, education, entertainment and more.


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