Grass Valley fire claims 3-year-old girl’s life
A 3-year-old girl first reported missing in a Grass Valley house fire died as a result of the blaze, authorities said.
Firefighters “had word that there may be someone trapped” inside the structure when they arrived Friday afternoon in the 10000 block of Park View Drive, Nevada County Consolidated Fire District Fire Marshal Terry McMahan said.
Police had arrived first and attempted a rescue, said McMahan. Firefighters then entered the structure, discovering shortly afterward that the girl had been trapped inside and was deceased.
Andrew Trygg, public information officer with the Sheriff’s Office, said the identity of the deceased child could not be released as of Monday.
“The coroner still has not made positive identification due to the severity of the injuries,” Trygg wrote in an email.
The fire appears to have been accidental, according to McMahan, although investigation of its cause was ongoing as of Monday.
“If people have any information, please call the (Nevada County Consolidated) Fire District and talk to Patrick Mason. He’s the lead fire investigator,” said McMahan.
McMahan said investigators were onsite Saturday and have continued the follow-up process, which has included interviewing neighbors and other individuals who were nearby during the incident, collecting details such as where they first saw the fire or how they found out about it.
These details, said McMahan, are “important to putting those pieces of the puzzle together,” as investigators work to determine with certainty whether criminal activity played any part in the fire.
As they responded to the fire, first responders also located two burn victims, identified as a mother and 5-year-old son. They were transported by helicopter to a regional burn center that evening.
Julia Stidham, a relative of the victims and an employee of The Union, said the mother was discharged from the hospital, and the son was still hospitalized as of Sunday, although his burns were not as severe as the family had initially feared. She added that he will not need any surgery or skin grafting.
Victoria Penate is a staff writer for The Union. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nevada County Consolidated Fire District: 530-265-4431
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Source: Cal Fire