A judge Friday denied a bail reduction request for a 29-year-old woman accused of causing a Lake Elsinore house fire that killed her two young children and grandmother, and injured her mother and another child.
Devinn Elysse Fisher of Lake Elsinore was arrested in March following a joint Riverside County sheriff’s and fire department investigation that began immediately after the deadly blaze two months earlier.
Fisher is charged with three counts each of involuntary manslaughter and child cruelty, as well as four counts of causing a fire that resulted in great bodily injury or death, and one count each of burning an inhabited structure and elder abuse.
Her attorney, Darryl Exum, submitted a motion in April requesting a bail reduction, even the possible release of his client on her own recognizance, but during a bail review hearing at the Southwest Justice Center, Superior Court Judge Judith Clark rejected the motion.
“The court finds by clear (and) convincing evidence the defendant is a flight risk … (and) finds it necessary to detain the defendant,” according to Clark’s ruling.
The judge ordered Fisher to remain held on $2 million bail at the Smith Correctional Facility in Banning and scheduled a felony settlement conference for July 30 at the Murrieta courthouse.
Fisher was under investigation from the time of the blaze that engulfed the house at 32956 Blackwell Blvd., near Grand Avenue, on Jan. 25.
The defendant resided 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.
When Fisher was arrested March 18, sheriff’s investigators did not disclose what evidence had pointed to her alleged culpability.
Flames erupted inside the garage of the single-story residence shortly before 3 p.m. that Monday. 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 died 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 45 minutes later.
The defendant was also burned, as was one of her other children, whose identity was not released. The girl has since recovered.
Phyllis Fisher succumbed to her injuries two days afterward despite undergoing treatment at Arrowhead Regional Burn Center. Her daughter was also treated there and spent weeks in burn recovery, according to family friends.
Devinn Fisher was released from the hospital within a week.
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