Feds investigate deadly fire
A flower wreath commemorating a young woman and her daughter hung Tuesday on the charred remains of a Marysville building as federal inspectors searched for clues into the cause of a fatal fire that reportedly took the lives of a 19-year-old woman and her young daughter.
Crystal Porter and 1-year-old KateLynn Risner died early Monday in the fire at 310 Seventh St. Autopsies were scheduled this morning.
The Marysville Police Department asked the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives to investigate the midnight blaze, which has not officially been labeled suspicious.
Agents used a sniffer dog to try to determine if an accelerant was used to start the fire, said R. Graham Barlowe, agent in charge of the ATF's Sacramento office.
The ATF investigates commercial building fires “when appropriate,” said Barlowe. No results were expected Tuesday, he said.
The ATF also was called last week to investigate a computer lab fire at Faith Christian School in Yuba City. That fire apparently was set, an official said.
Marysville Fire Chief Joe Hernandez referred questions about the cause of this week's fire to the Police Department.
Hernandez said Monday it was not clear if the building had working smoke detectors. The building's owner, Sam Phong of Sacramento, could not be reached for comment.
According to the Marysville Building Inspection Office, Phong has not been cited for any code violations at the building, which contained seven apartments and the Pink Trunk thrift store.
Porter's cousin, Heather Buono, said an account has been established at Washington Mutual Bank to help Porter's stepmother and father, Michelle and Keith Porter, with expenses. The Porters were still too upset to talk about the deaths of Crystal and KateLynn but wanted it known “that they love their sweet baby girl,” she said.
Crystal Porter's mother is Kathy Cole, said Buono.
Donations can be made at any Washington Mutual branch, said Linda Spiller, assistant manager of the Marysville branch. Donors should bring the account number, 4226921751, and make checks out to “Heather Buono FBO Porter/Risner.” FBO means “for the benefit of,” she said.
Porter was an honor roll student at Lindhurst High School but left to have her child, said Fran Tune, who manages the school's student store. She was attempting this year to earn a diploma through home study.
KateLynn was born Sept. 1, 2005, at Fremont Medical Center.