Three adult and one child immigrants from Guatemala and one U.S.-born child were identified yesterday as the deceased victims of a voracious weekend home fire in New York’s Rockland County.
Five other people were injured and have been released from the hospital. All of those affected were related to each other and were from Guatemala, The Journal News reported, citing officials from that country’s consulate in NYC.
The official cause has not yet been determined, but it is believed that the fire that broke out Saturday night in the town of Spring Valley was probably accidental and caused by electrical problems, county officials said.
Rudy Alfonzo Climaco Interiano, 27, his son Darwin Isaí Climaco Díaz (4), and his cousin Anastacio Díaz Climaco (34) perished in the fire. Also killed was high school student Carlos Aníbal Interiano González, 13, whose father was injured. The fifth deceased was Maria del Carmen Gonzalez Quizar (29). Among the survivors are the mother and younger sister of the child Darwin.
The consulate detailed that the deceased and injured adults had “an irregular migratory situation”, while the minors Darwin and his sister were born in the USA.
The two-story multi-family house was almost completely blackened after the fire, and approximately half of the roof collapsed. The fire was so severe that firefighters were unable to enter the house to help those trapped until the flames were extinguished.
Rockland County Sheriff Louis Falco said in a statement yesterday that while the exact cause of the fire is not yet certain, “it was most likely accidental and related to electrical problems within the structure.”
There were smoke detectors in the multi-family home, and the sheriff’s joint investigation into the fire with the Spring Valley Police Department is ongoing.
The county received five previous complaints between 2015 and 2021 related to the house that caught fire, but all of those problems were resolved by August 2021, New York Post noted.
A GoFundMe page, “Guatemalan Family Tragedy,” has been set up to support survivors. While the consulate offered to help the family get the bodies back to Guatemala, Darwin and his father Rudy Climaco will likely be buried in the U.S., according to Ramon Soto, assistant to the Rockland County Executive.