fb-pixel Skip to main content

Investigators still searching for answers in deadly Lynn fire

Fire investigators worked through the weekend in Lynn combing through rubble of a three-family home where a blaze killed four family members Friday, but had yet to determine its cause, according to authorities.

Authorities were speaking with witnesses, and poring over videos and photographs taken after the fire broke out, attempting to discover a cause and point of origin for the fire that claimed the lives of Sonia Cruz, her sister Maritza, niece Yasmin, and nephew Rodolfo Mercedes

“It’s still an ongoing investigation,’’ State Fire Marshal Stephen D. Coan said Sunday. “Our investigators spent a considerable amount of time at the scene today. . . . It’s really a big puzzle to come up with a cause.”


On Saturday, Lynn Chief Building Inspector Roger Ennis visited the 2½-story house at 24 Bruce Place and issued a demolition order. It is unclear when the home will be destroyed.

Investigators need longer than usual to determine the source and cause of the fire, given its size and scope, Coan said. They are seeking additional videos or photographs from anyone who might have captured the early stages of the fire to help confirm the authorities’ theory about how the fire began. They have not disclosed what they know about the origin of the blaze.

On Sunday the Cruz family continued to grieve as their church, Iglesia Adventista del Septimo Dia, or Spanish Seventh-day Adventist Church, struggled to raise money for the funerals and burials.

Pastor Eduardo Rodriguez of the Cruzes’ church, said the congregation, with help from others, has collected $6,500 so far.

“It’s not enough, because there are four bodies,’’ said Rodriquez, whose wife, Maribel, served as a translator for a phone interview Sunday.

He said they are hoping to raise $21,000 to $22,000 to bury all four of the victims.

The dead included a pregnant woman, Cruz, along with her sister, Maritza, her nephew, and niece, according to family and friends.


Church members, joined by other congregations in nearby communities, have been trying to comfort one another with hugs and prayer.

“It has not been easy,’’ the pastor said.

Last month, the church buried another of its members, 18-year-old Josue D. Quispe-Almendro, whose body washed ashore last month on Plymouth’s Saquish Beach. The Malden teen had been missing since Oct. 17, the authorities said.

“In less than a month we have had two big tragedies,’’ Rodriguez said. “It’s been hard for us here.”

Meghan E. Irons can be reached at meghan.irons@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @meghanirons.