Neighbors are now remembering Ramon Fierro and reacting to news of an arrest in his death.
The 86-year-old was killed in a Visalia house fire Thursday.
Police have arrested 22-year-old Armando Camacho. They said illegal 4th of July fireworks are to blame.
Neighbors said they’re happy to see someone being held accountable.
Sgt. Gary Williams with the Visalia Police Department said every year they warn people how dangerous illegal fireworks can be, and this is a prime example of what can happen.
“You’re shooting off these aerial fireworks and this tree was green, but it still caught on fire and a tragedy happened because of it,” Williams said. Wednesday.
People living in the area of North Stover, where the house caught fire, are mourning the loss of 86-year-old Fierro.
“It’s just I’m speechless. I really am,” said one neighbor.
Another said Fierro died along with 14 dogs. Now many are paying their respects at a growing memorial. Armando Perez said a card left at the scene nearly brought him to tears.
“He reminded me of a grandpa, and I know that he was a real special person. He never did harm to anybody or hurt anybody,” he said.
Camacho was arrested Tuesday. He was charged with arson and involuntary manslaughter, and was released Wednesday.
“It was determined that he was outside setting off illegal aerial fireworks and those fireworks came in contact with the tree and ignited the fire,” Sgt. Williams said.
He said witnesses saw Camacho setting off the illegal fireworks and a search warrant turned up more at his house.
“At least (Fierro’s) not going through pain anymore. He’s not suffering and he’s with God,” Perez said.
Williams said they believe at least one other person was with Camacho at the time of the fire. Police are looking to identify everyone involved. Anyone with information is asked to give them a call.