Police: triple-fatal Mountain View fire apparent murder-suicide

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – A Mountain View-area house fire that killed two men and a woman last week is believed to have been a case of murder-suicide by means of arson, authorities reported Thursday.

The single-story home in the 300 block of South 38th Street became engulfed in flames and smoke about 6:15 a.m. last Thursday, according to San Diego police.

Neighbors told arriving firefighters that people were trapped inside the burning house. Crews found the bodies after forcing entry to try to rescue the residents.

Authorities soon deemed the blaze suspicious, and subsequent investigation by the San Diego Metro Arson Strike Team determined that the flames apparently had been intentionally ignited, with gasoline used as an accelerant, SDPD Lt. Matt Dobbs said.

Two of those who died in the fire have been identified as Katia Valdivia, 44, and her 26-year-old son, Angel. Though investigators are still trying to identify the body of the second man, he and the other two are believed to have lived together in the home just south of Mount Hope Cemetery, according to police.

“Autopsies have been performed on all three subjects found inside, and all appear to have died from fire-related injuries,” the lieutenant said.

It remains unclear who may have set the deadly blaze, and investigators are continuing to work to “determine what roles each individual played in the incident,” the lieutenant said.

Categories: Local San Diego News