DOS PALOS— Authorities have identified five members of a family killed in a house fire in Merced County.
The Merced County Sheriff’s Office said the two adult victims were Ruben Andrade, 40, and Juana Yanez, 35, the parents of the three child victims.
The children were identified as 1-year-old Hector Andrade, 4-year-old Judith Andrade, and 11-year-old Christopher Andrade.
A family cousin, Kassandra Andrade, created a GoFundMe page to help the family. As of Monday morning, it had raised $39,005.
“There are no words to describe the pain our families are going through,” Kassandra Andrade wrote on the page. “A beautiful, caring, and loving family has passed in a house fire. ”
Fire Started Before Dawn at Farmhouse
The fire was reported before dawn Thursday at one of two houses on a property amid farm fields outside the small community of Dos Palos.
Two other adults were hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries. Sheriff’s Deputy Daryl Allen said they were injured while attempting to help.
Investigators found no evidence of foul play and believe the fire started by accident.
A friend of the family, Horacio Cisneros of Dos Palos, came by the house Thursday. He told the Merced Sun-Star he was in disbelief.
“They’re a good family. They didn’t deserve this, you know,” Cisneros said. “They’re going to need a lot of help from the community to get through this.”
(GV Wire contributed to this story.)