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Stockton fire that killed 1, injured 2 now being investigated as homicide, police say

KCRA Sacramento 1/31/2023 KCRA Staff and Josie Heart
Stockton fire © KCRA Stockton fire

A woman died, and a man and child were hospitalized with burns after an early morning fire in Stockton on Monday, officials said. The Stockton Police Department is investigating it as a homicide.

Police said fire crews found a 63-year-woman dead inside. A 60-year-old man and a 2-year-old boy were sent to the hospital but are expected to survive. Fire investigators believe the fire was intentionally set.

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The Stockton Fire Department said the fire happened at a triplex at 9525 Bancroft Way. The fire was contained to just one unit.

The area remained taped off and police were present for most of the day, but the nature of the fire remains a mystery, and residents are trying to make sense of it.

Dozens of neighbors poured into the street, some distraught, saying they never expected a tragedy like this would happen in their neighborhood. Particularly Delcon Andrews, who said he moved into the neighborhood a month ago.

“I don’t know how to feel about this,” Andrews said. “I really don’t know how to feel about this.”

Andrews said he had just taken out his garbage in the early hours when he heard a boom and then honking.

A car had been set aflame and a trash bin next to it was melted down.

“I walked my youngest to school and I just saw the burnt car and I was like, 'That seems suspicious,'” resident Melissa Decluette said.

After details were released about the fire, some residents were left with more questions than answers.

Officials at the scene have not confirmed how or if the fires are connected, but some like Oletha Girley are anxious for answers, speculating that the fires were no accident.

“I think somebody did it on purpose, Girley said. "I really do believe that somebody did this on purpose.”

Girley and others said they are familiar with the people in the property and are worried for the safety of the two survivors, particularly the child who was hurt.

“That’s like my little baby,” Girley said. “I hope the baby is OK because he’s innocent.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact Stockton police.


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