2 teens arrested in library fire that killed firefighter in Porterville

Posted at 12:46 PM, Feb 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-19 15:46:43-05

PORTERVILLE, Calif. (AP) -- Police arrested two 13-year-old boys on suspicion of starting a fire at a Central California public library that killed at least one firefighter.

Porterville Police Chief Eric Kroutil said Wednesday the two teenagers were arrested in connection with the Tuesday blaze that left a 35-year-old firefighter dead Another firefighter was unaccounted for as of Wednesday afternoon.

Kroutil said the teens face arson and manslaughter charges.

A city librarian said staff called 911 when they noticed flames in the children's section of the library.

More than 50 city, county and state firefighters battled the blaze for hours in Porterville, which is over 150 miles north of Los Angeles.

The library was built in 1953 and did not have sprinklers.