A father and his 4-year-old son were among the five people killed in a Rockland County house fire over the weekend that also claimed a 13-year-old boy’s life, officials said Tuesday.
The two boys and three adults total were killed in the blaze that injured another five people. All of the victims were related and came from Guatemala, The Journal News reported, citing officials from the Consulate of Guatemala.
It is believed the fire, which broke out late Saturday in the village of Spring Valley, was likely caused by electrical issues and accidental, county officials said.
Rudy Alfonzo Climaco Interiano, 27, and his 4-year-old son Darwin Isaí Climaco Díaz both perished in the fire.
Also killed was 13-year-old middle schooler Carlos Aníbal Interiano González, whose father was injured in the flames.
A cousin to Rudy Climaco, 34-year-old Anastacio Diaz Climaco died, as well as 29-year-old Maria del Carmen Gonzalez Quizar.
Among the survivors were Rudy Alfonzo Climaco Interiano’s partner, who was little Darwin’s mom, and the couple’s younger daughter, according to the newspaper.
The consulate said the adults’ status in the country was “an irregular migratory situation,” according to The Journal News, though Darwin and his surviving sister were both citizens because they were born in the US.
The two-story, multifamily home was almost entirely blackened after the fire with about half of the roof caved in. The blaze was so severe that firefighters were not able to enter the home to help people trapped until the flames were extinguished.
The building was knocked over hours after the fire, according to The Journal News.
The five people who were taken to the hospital following the fire were released by Monday, an assistant in the Rockland County Executive’s Office told the newspaper.
Rockland County Sheriff Louis Falco said in a statement Tuesday that while the exact cause of fire is still not certain, it “was very likely accidental and related to electrical issues within the structure.”
Smoke detectors were present in the multifamily home, he said.
The sheriff’s joint probe into the blaze with the Spring Valley Police Department is ongoing.
The county received five past complaints from 2015 to 2021 tied to the house that burned down, but all those issues were fixed by August 2021, officials said. Some of the problems included pests, and missing smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
There were no complaints since 2021. The property changed ownership twice since officials last visited that year, the county said.