House Fire Kills Firefighter’s Family While He Was Away Battling A Blaze To Save Other Families
Published in Sep 2020 / Updated in Aug 2021
A firefighter battling wildfire lost his wife and three kids in a blaze that destroyed their home.
It hadn’t even been a day since Marcaria Garcia-Martinez, 32, and her three children — Luz Garcia-Martinez, 17, Luis Garcia-Martinez, 15, and Michelle Garcia-Martinez, 6 — moved into their mobile home in Benton City.
Their family’s single-wide trailer caught fire in the early morning hours, incinerating them inside.
The heat from the blaze was so intense that a few other homes nearby also caught fire.
When the neighbor alarmed fire units and cops, the officers rescued residents of other homes. However, they couldn’t save Marcaria’s family as the flames were too intense.
The blaze burned the front of the family’s home beyond recognition. Firefighters stopped the inferno before it reached the back section.
Speaking to CNN, Ron Duncan, chief of Benton County Fire Protection District 2, said:
“There was nothing we could do.”
After putting out the fire, firefighters recovered the family members’ bodies.
The police report said that Marcaria and her daughters were in the bedroom. The son, Luis, was in the bathroom.
A Facebook post by the Benton County Sheriff’s Office on the day of the incident read:
“Once fire personnel were able to enter the house, they found four individuals [dead]. The victims are believed to include a woman, two teenagers, and a child.”
The county’s Coroner’s Office is yet to determine the cause of the blaze. Fire officials said an overloaded electrical circuit could have caused the fire.
According to the autopsy report, the victims died due to smoke inhalation.
Marcaria and her children had just moved into the area that day. The fire sparked on their first night in the home.
Speaking of the tragedy, a neighbor told news outlets that he woke to the sound of explosions. When he went outside, he saw flames stretching 30 feet high.
Meanwhile, Raul, Marcaria’s husband and the kid’s dad, was over 200 miles south in Okanogan County. He was fighting the Palmer Fire when he learned the heartbreaking news.
Benton County Fire Protection has programs that provide free smoke detectors. Authorities said investigators found no smoke detectors in Marcaria’s home.
Chief of Benton County Fire Protection told news outlets:
“It’s a very sad case. And it reiterates the fact that smoke detectors save lives.”
Many social media users have joined to help Raul’s family while they lament the loss of their loved ones.
They’ve also created a GoFundMe page to help the firefighter and those who lost their homes in the blaze.