Mother of man who died in Pinellas mobile home fire seeks answers, help

By Saundra Weathers, Reporter
Last Updated: Tuesday, January 02, 2018, 10:10 PM EST

The mother of 41-one-year-old man whose life was taken by a mobile home fire said that she’s trying to figure out how to lay her son to rest.

“None of it makes sense. Guess he couldn’t get out,” said Paula Thomas.

Forty-one-year-old Randy Reed’s body was found inside a mobile home that caught fire in Pinellas County, according to the Sheriff's Office.

Firefighters responded to the 7400 block of 46th Avenue N. Saturday afternoon.

Inside the home, they found Reed dead in a bathroom hallway. The fire likely started in one of the bedrooms, deputies said.

Thomas said she lived in the Pinellas County mobile home park with Reed for years. She would help him and he would help her.

“Ever since he was a little boy he told me that when he got bigger he was gonna take care of me. He did for a while,” she said.

Thomas said her son battled with mental illness his whole life. That’s part of the reason why she said she’s at peace.

“The only thing that keeps me going is knowing he’s not suffering like he has been because he wasn’t happy. I couldn’t fix him,” Thomas said.

The fire claimed Thomas’ home and all of her belongings. And with no money, no home and a little help from her neighbors, she said she needs a miracle.

“What I want to know is where can I go live? When you don’t have money, where can you go live?” she asked.

The fire is still under investigation, but deputies said the fire did not appear suspicious.

The Medical Examiner’s Office is trying to determine the cause of the man’s death.

While investigators try to figure out what happened, Thomas is hoping people will find it in their hearts to help her lay her son to rest, who she said will always be her little boy.

“He’s not in misery anymore. I have to believe that. I have to believe he’s happy and just free,” she said.

Thomas has set up a GoFundMe page for funeral costs and a new place to live.


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