A 29-year-old woman accused of causing a Lake Elsinore house fire that killed her two young children and grandmother, as well as injuring her mother and another child, was charged Monday with three counts of involuntary manslaughter.
Devinn Elysse Fisher of Lake Elsinore was arrested Thursday following a joint Riverside County sheriff’s and fire department investigation that began immediately after the deadly blaze two months ago.
In addition to the manslaughter counts, Fisher is charged with three counts of child cruelty and four counts of causing a fire that resulted in great bodily injury or death, as well as one count each of burning an inhabited structure and elder abuse.
Fisher is being held in lieu of $2 million bail at the Smith Correctional Facility in Banning and is slated to make her initial court appearance Tuesday afternoon at the Southwest Justice Center in Murrieta.
According to sheriff’s Sgt. Jeff Reese, Fisher had been under investigation since the blaze that engulfed the house at 2956 Blackwell Blvd., near Grand Avenue, in January.
The defendant lived there with her mother, 51-year-old Julia Fisher, grandmother, 85-year-old Phyllis Fisher, and four children, two of whom perished in the flames.
They were 2-year-old Julian Alcaraz-Fisher and his sister, 1-year-old Arya Alcaraz.
Reese did not disclose what led detectives to determine the defendant was allegedly responsible for the fire starting. The 12-count criminal complaint also didn’t point to specific findings.
Flames erupted inside the garage of the single-story residence shortly before 3 p.m. on Jan. 25. According to witnesses, the blaze spread rapidly, consuming the garage and extending into the rest of the residence as neighbors rushed to help, trying in vain to reach the victims.
Multiple county fire crews converged on the property within 10 minutes and were immediately alerted to occupants trapped.
Arya and Julian perished at the scene, and Phyllis Fisher was severely burned, along with her daughter, whose two dogs died in the fire.
Crews got it under control roughly 45 minutes later.
The defendant was also burned, as was one of her other children, whose identity was not released.
Phyllis Fisher succumbed to her injuries two days afterward, while receiving treatment at Arrowhead Regional Burn Center, where her daughter Julia was also taken.
Devinn Fisher was released from the hospital within a week. Her mother and the other victim are still undergoing treatment but recovering, according to family friend Stephanie Heer, who organized a GoFundMe campaign, which is updated regularly at www.gofundme.com/f/please-help-julia-fisher-family?qid=13345167d1c79116723295888612f2c1.
The campaign has raised at least $46,000.
Funeral services for Phyllis Fisher are expected in the first week of April, and arrangements are still being made for the children, Heer said.