Two Teenagers Arrested in Fatal Porterville Library Fire
Porterville Police Chief Eric Kroutil said Wednesday the two 13-year-old boys were arrested Tuesday in the fire that left a 35-year-old firefighter dead.
Kroutil said the teenagers were seen running from the library shortly after the fire started.
Fire Captain Killed, Firefighter Missing
Fire Capt. Raymond Figueroa, 35, was killed in the blaze and firefighter Patrick Jones, 25, is still missing, said Porterville Fire Chief David LaPere.
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.
Library Doesn’t Have Fire Sprinklers
The library was built in 1953 and did not have fire sprinklers, an official said said.
More than 50 state, county, and city crews battled the stubborn blaze for hours.
The cause of the fire is under investigation, officials said.