SANTA ANA — Many people have called to offer help for a family whose home was destroyed this week by a fire sparked by a propane stove explosion.
But there is a problem: No one speaks English at the phone number the good Samaritans have been calling.
The number, provided by social workers, belongs to a distant cousin of Nam Le, whose daughter was fatally injured in the fire Tuesday. Le's husband and son remain in critical condition at UCI Medical Center in Orange.
Le and her two other daughters are staying at the cousin's house.
People who want to help the family but have been unable to communicate with them may contact Judy Iannaccione at the county chapter of the American Red Cross at (714) 835-5381, ext. 231.
The Red Cross is also helping with funeral arrangements for Kim-Anh Mai, 23, the eldest child of Le, 45, and Dong Viet Mai, 56.
Kim-Anh Mai, who came from Vietnam eight months ago with her family, died Wednesday at the medical center.
She was cooking the family dinner Tuesday when the propane stove, which family members said came with the back rooms they rented at 1309 N. McLean Drive, exploded.
Her father suffered burns over 50% of his body. Brother Loc Tan Mai, 18, was burned on 75% of his body. The mother and two other daughters escaped with minor injuries.
Meanwhile, a job placement specialist at the Cambodian Family Inc. refugee service agency remembers Kim-Anh Mai as a hard worker.
She and her sisters just started working temporarily a month ago for TDK Magnetic Tape in Irvine, refugee worker Jonathan Lee said.
"They saw jobs as being very important," Lee said, "and so even though they knew these were temporary jobs, they took them."
City officials are investigating whether the property owner illegally provided the Mai family with the propane stove. The main kitchen, used by another family living in the front section of the house, already had a natural gas stove, they said.
City building codes bar having in the same house stoves fueled by both propane and natural gas.
Property records indicate that the house is owned by Son Sonny Du, who could not be reached for comment.