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RI Crime

Mother charged with manslaughter in house fire that killed both her daughters in 2020

Ingrid Sandoval has been ordered held without bail. Prosecutors say she left the children home alone, and firefighters delayed entry because they were not advised they were inside.

Ashley “Nataly” Sandoval, 7, of Providence, victim of a Providence house fire.Yesmin Asencio

PROVIDENCE — Just days before Christmas in 2020, a home on Lucy Street in Providence was engulfed in flames and two young girls — Ashley, 7, and Allison Sandoval, 2 — died soon after.

The girls’ mother, Ingrid Sandoval, 28, was indicted June 15 on two counts of manslaughter in connection to the fire, the attorney general’s office said this week. She was arraigned and ordered held without bail.

Relatives were home when the fire broke out, but Sandoval had left for the market just before the fire started. The other relatives escaped and then realized that the girls were still trapped inside.

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Firefighters found the two girls in back bedrooms upstairs on the second floor. They were unresponsive.

Ashley Sandoval was pronounced dead soon after she and her sister were pulled from the burning home. Her sister Allison was rushed to Hasbro Children’s Hospital, where she died days later.

Providence firefighters worked to extinguish the flames from a fire on Lucy Street in Providence on Dec. 22, 2020. Matthew Healey for The Boston Globe

In March 2021, the state Department of Children, Youth, and Families said neglect contributed to the deaths of two young sisters. But DCYF did not comment on its determination of neglect nor did it indicate to the press whether they had deemed a specific person responsible for neglecting the girls.

The department previously said they could not release further information due to confidentiality laws.

Kathryn Sabitini, a spokeswoman for the attorney general’s office, told the Globe that prosecutors for the state alleged that Sandoval “left her two children at home alone, and that when firefighters arrived at the home in response to a fire at that location, they delayed entry because they were not advised that children were in the home.”

“As this case was presented to a grand jury, by state law and Superior Court Rule of Criminal Procedure, there is no additional information that this Office may make available at this time,” wrote Sabitini in an email to the Globe.

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The family had just emigrated from Guatemala, joining other relatives in Providence, and living together in the nine-bedroom, three-story home. As previously reported, their landlord’s daughter, who was friends with the family, said the Sandovals were close-knit, and the girls’ aunt, who lived with them, was like a second mother.

Providence Public Safety Commissioner Steven M. Paré said investigators had ruled out arson early on.

This story has been updated with information from the attorney general’s office.


Alexa Gagosz can be reached at alexa.gagosz@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @alexagagosz and on Instagram @AlexaGagosz.