FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – An accelerant was used in the Fresno house fire Wednesday morning that killed a seven-year-old boy, according to the police department.
The fire was first reported at around 4:30 a.m. at a home located at 243 N. College Avenue. Fire crews on the scene reported that the home was engulfed in flames when they arrived. Officials say seven people were inside the home, but only six escaped. The seven-year-old boy who did not escape the fire was found inside.
“Where this young boy was found there was no tenable life that was going to survive in that environment,” said Fresno Fire Chief Kerri Donis.
The young victim was identified as seven-year-old Isaac Vallejo of Fresno. Other family members were injured in the fire, including a 13-year-old who was forced to jump from a second-story window.
“I can’t imagine how scared they would have been having to jump from a second story to save their own life, and unfortunately the seven-year-old couldn’t make that jump,” said Fresno Police Chief Paco Balderrama.
Chief Balderrama said that the call was initially for the fire department, but the resulting investigation has since been considered a homicide as preliminary findings show that there was some kind of accelerant that was used on both the front and the back doors of the home.
The exact type of accelerant is still to be officially determined.
“Our condolences go out to the family, regardless of what may or may not have transpired. A seven-year-old innocent little boy was killed, murdered, through a very deliberate act. We do intend to bring this family justice by solving the crime.”
Fresno Police Department data shows a previous call about a shooting at the same home on June 25.
A motive in this incident is yet to be determined.
“We know the fire was set deliberately, and we know there was a shooting prior to that. If there’s any connection we’re going to find it,” said Chief Balderrama.
Officers are asking for the public’s help in the investigation. Anyone who knows anything about the incident, if they saw anything prior to the fire or if they have any video of people going to the house is asked to contact the Fresno Police Department.