2 teens arrested in library fire that killed firefighter

2 teens arrested in library fire that killed firefighter

6 photos
Save Story
Leer en español

Estimated read time: 1-2 minutes

This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

PORTERVILLE, Calif. (AP) — Two 13-year-old boys have been arrested on suspicion of starting a blaze at a public library in central California that left a firefighter dead and another missing, officials said.

Porterville Police Chief Eric Kroutil said Wednesday the teenagers were arrested Tuesday in the blaze at the Porterville Public Library that killed fire Capt. Raymond Figueroa, 35.

Firefighter Patrick Jones, 25, is still missing, said Porterville Fire Chief David LaPere.

Kroutil said the teenagers were seen running from the library shortly after the blaze started.

“Our investigation led us to two 13-year-old Porterville residents who have been determined to have started this fire,” Kroutil said.

The boys face arson, manslaughter and conspiracy charges, he said.Their names were not released because they are minors. It was not immediately known if they have attorneys who can speak on their behalf.

The blaze was reported at about 4:15 p.m. Tuesday at the library in Porterville, 50 miles (79 kilometers) north of Bakersfield in the San Joaquin Valley, fire officials said.

Staff called 911 when they noticed flames in the children's section of the library, which has about 77,000 books, city librarian Vikki Cervantes told the Visalia Times Delta.

Flames shot through the library's roof, which later collapsed. The library is located about a block from the fire department. The first arriving firefighters quickly called for more assistance, officials said.

The library was built in 1953 and did not have sprinklers, said Porterville Fire Department Capt. Joanne Bear said.

More than 50 state, county and city crews battled the stubborn blaze for hours.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Most recent U.S. stories

Related topics

The Associated Press


    Get informative articles and interesting stories delivered to your inbox weekly. Subscribe to the KSL.com Trending 5.
    By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to KSL.com's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

    KSL Weather Forecast