DOS PALOS, Calif. (AP) — Authorities have identified five members of a family killed in a house fire in rural Central California.
The Merced County Sheriff’s Office said the two adult victims were Ruben Andrade, 40, and Juana Yanez, 35, the parents of the three child victims.
The children were identified as 1-year-old Hector Andrade, 4-year-old Judith Andrade and 11-year-old Christopher Andrade.
The fire was reported before dawn Thursday at one of two houses on a property amid farm fields outside the small community of Dos Palos.
Two other adults were hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries. Sheriff’s Deputy Daryl Allen said they were injured while attempting to help.
Investigators found no evidence of foul play and believe the fire started by accident.
A friend of the family, Horacio Cisneros of Dos Palos, came by the house Thursday. He told the Merced Sun-Star he was in disbelief.
“They’re a good family. They didn’t deserve this, you know,” Cisneros said. “They’re going to need a lot of help from the community to get through this.”
Dos Palos is about 50 miles (80 kilometers) northwest of Fresno.