The suspect, Filimon “Robert” Hurtado, was charged Thursday with two counts of murder with special circumstances and one count of arson causing great bodily injury, the Fresno County District Attorney’s office said in a news release.
The fire was reported early Tuesday.
The 32-year-old mother, whose name was withheld, was “fighting for her life with severe burns to her body,” the police officials said. She remained in critical condition Thursday, according to police Sgt. Diana Vega.
Police identified the niece as Cataleya Hurtado and the nephew as Calyx Hurtado. Their father was at work at the time of the fire.
Suspect Had No Prior Criminal History
Filimon Hurtado was admitted to a hospital under guard and is recovering from “substantial burns,” police said.
Police said he had no prior criminal history.
“When investigators interviewed the suspect, he made admissions to setting the house on fire because he wanted to kill everyone in the home,” Fresno PD said in a news release. “He had no reasonable explanation as to why he committed this horrendous act.”
Anyone with information on Filimon Hurtado or about the fire is urged to contact Valley Crime Stoppers at 498-STOP. You may also contact homicide detective Ben Barnes (559-621-2421) or detective Scott Gray (559-621-2451). The case number is 2205030196.
(Associated Press contributed to this article.)