November 01, 2006
Murder by Fire Update - Firefighter dies, person of interest arrested
The fifth firefighter who was injured in the Esperanza fire has died.
Hours after firefighter Pablo Cerda on Tuesday became the fifth and final member of a U.S. Forest Service crew to die after they were overrun by an out-of-control wildfire near Palm Springs, authorities said they arrested a suspect in connection with previous blazes in the San Gorgonio Pass area, and named him a "person of interest" in last week's deadly fire.Technorati: Fire, California, Firefighters
Cerda, 23, fought to survive for six days at Arrowhead Regional Medical Center in Colton before succumbing at 5:08 p.m. to burns over 90% of his body. He lived in Fountain Valley, where he cared for his father, and was in his second season with the Forest Service. [...]
Authorities said they had questioned several people about the cause of the deadly Riverside County wildfire, known as the Esperanza fire, and that they had identified at least "two persons of interest."
Authorities disclosed the name of only one: Raymond Lee Oyler, 37, a Beaumont resident, who was arrested at 3 p.m. Tuesday by the Riverside County Sheriff's Department on two counts of arson in connection with wildfires in June in the San Gorgonio Pass area.
Posted by Darleen at November 1, 2006 08:08 AM