BAKERSFIELD - On April 12, 2018, the Kern County District Attorney’s Office announced that it filed a felony county of involuntary manslaughter against a trailer park management company as a result of findings by state investigators into the fiery death of an infant.
Jenica Lozano, five months old, died in a fire inside a trailer her parents rented at 4J’s Trailer Park in Oildale on January 24, 2016. Three trailers were destroyed in the fire, some of which had been tagged by state code enforcement officers who claimed the trailers should not have been occupied due to the lack of permits and no hazard detectors, such as a smoke alarm. The cause of the fire is still under investigation, however the parents received restitution in a civil suit against the trailer park’s managers and owners.
“The manslaughter charge filed by the Kern County DA is a fitting but somber end to a long investigation,” said Marcus Nenn, president of the Association of Deputy Commissioners (ADC) which represents state investigators in this case. “The heartbreaking loss of life and destruction of three homes is a tragedy that could have been avoided were it not for the defendant's disregard for permits, safety standards, and official State notices and licensing. On the positive side, the case highlighted cooperation between local and State agencies that promises to better safeguard park residents and promote discipline against Pama Management officers and their state licenses. The Kern County Fire Marshall and Prosecutor's office, along with California's HCD Investigators and BRE Special Investigators, all worked together to seek justice for the effected families.”
The felony charge of involuntary manslaughter is filed against Pama Management, Incorporated. Pama Management operated the trailer park and leased the trailer in which the infant was living in. Pama Management is accused of failing to abide by its legal duties to maintain the trailer in compliance with the state of California’s statutory requirements for inhabited dwellings. At the time of the fire, the child was sleeping in a bedroom. The adult occupants in the trailer were able to escape safely but baby Jenica died as a result of the fire.