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Family's oldest son charged in Logan Heights house fire deaths

Posted at 2:34 PM, Oct 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-19 09:17:53-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — San Diego Police have arrested a 26-year-old in connection with a Logan Heights house fire that killed three of his family members last weekend.

Police say Wilber Romero was arrested Friday for homicide and arson in connection with the deaths of his parents 44-year-old Jose Romero and 46-year-old Nicolasa Maya-Romero, and his sister 21-year-old Iris Romero in a house fire on Sunday.

Romero's mother and sister died at the hospital in the days following the blaze while his father died in the fire. The family’s 23-year-old daughter and 16-year-old son remain in the hospital.

RELATED: Homicide investigators looking into deadly Logan Heights fire out of 'abundance of caution'

Romero was not harmed in the fire. He has been booked into county jail and is set to arraigned on Oct. 22.

On Oct. 13, the fire broke out around 4:30 a.m. Sunday in the 3100 block of Clay Ave. Firefighters had to go inside and pull the victims out.

Romero, who identified himself to 10News that morning as the family's oldest son, said he awoke to find his bed on fire and tried to yell for his family to get out of the home.

"My dogs were jumping on me, trying to wake me up. I woke up. When I woke up, my bed was on fire. I jumped out of bed and started screaming the house is on fire," Romero said after the blaze.

One witness told 10News he could see one of the victims reaching through the bars in the windows, unable to escape the fire.

"The minute I stepped out of my restroom, my house on the inside felt warm, like really warm. The curtain was open and I looked across the neighbors house was just bursting in flames," said Maria Orona, who lives nearby.

A GoFundMe page has been set up for the family.