Arrest made after illegal fireworks caught Visalia home on fire, killing elderly man

An arrest has been made in connection to a deadly house fire ignited by illegal fireworks that killed an elderly Visalia man on the Fourth of July.

Visalia police said Tuesday that Armando Camacho, 22, was arrested for involuntary manslaughter and arson resulting in great bodily injury/death.

Ramon Fierro, 86, died inside his home at 1108 N. Stover St. after illegal fireworks first caught a tree on fire, police said. The blaze then spread to his house around 9:30 p.m.

Police and fire investigators said they were able to identify Camacho as having ignited the fireworks that started the fire.

A search warrant was served at Camacho’s home, located on the same block as Fierro’s according to police, around 9:15 a.m. Tuesday.

“During the course of this search warrant, evidence was located that corroborated Armando Camacho’s involvement,” police said. “The Visalia Police Department Crime Lab and a Visalia Fire Department investigator were also called to assist in processing physical evidence located on the street and near the decedent’s residence.”

The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information is asked to contact Visalia Police Detective James Cummings at 559-713-4722 or by leaving an anonymous tip at 559-713-4738.

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Carmen George is a features and news reporter for The Fresno Bee. Her stories have been recognized with Best of the West, George F. Gruner, and McClatchy President’s awards, and nine first or second place awards from the California News Publishers Association. She has a passion for sharing people’s stories to highlight issues and promote greater understanding.