FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – Neighbors on West Robinson Street are still trying to wrap their heads around the tragedy they saw Tuesday morning.

“You never think something like this is going to happen so close to home,” one neighbor said.

A house fire that police say was intentionally started by 29-year-old Filimon “Robert” Hurtado, claimed the lives of his five-month-old nephew Calyx Hurtado and 18-month-old niece Cataleya Hurtado. Their mother – his sister-in-law – who isn’t being identified, now battling severe burns in the hospital. She reportedly ran across the street to the home of a neighbor; rolling on the ground to put out the flames.

“She is currently listed in critical condition,” said Lieutenant Paul Cervantes.

According to police, Hurtado lived in that home with his brother, sister-in-law, niece and nephew. He does not have any criminal history but admitted during an interview that he set the house on fire because he wanted to kill everybody inside. Police are still searching for a motive.

“There really is no rhyme or reason for him to do something in such a horrendous manner. He didn’t provide an explanation for us,” Cervantes said.

It’s the 18th and 19th murder in Fresno this year, compared to 28 at this time last year. Cervantes says this case weighs particularly heavy on the hearts of officers.

“We’re all human beings. Any time we have a loss of life, it’s tragic, but it’s extremely tragic when it involves children,” he said.

Neighbors with children now doing what they can to honor the lives lost.

“He wanted to pick out one of his babies that he played with so he can leave it here with them so they know that they’ll always be in our memory,” one neighbor said, after dropping off a stuffed animal at a memorial in front of the victims’ home.

A GoFundMe account is available to support the victims.