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Woman charged with 1st degree murder in fire that killed 2 Wilmington, DE firefighters

Firefighter Jerry Fickes (l) and Lt. Christopher Leach, Wilmington (DE) Fire Department

Esteban Parra & Brittany Horn, The News Journal:

A 27-year-old woman who lived at the Canby Park rowhome that went up in flames Saturday morning, killing two Wilmington firefighters, told police she was drunk and on anxiety medication when she became angry and set fire to the basement of the home, according to court documents obtained by The News Journal.

Beatriz Fana-Ruiz is charged with two counts of first-degree murder, one count of first-degree arson, four counts of second-degree assault in the injuries of other firefighters involved and seven counts of reckless endangerment, according to the State Fire Marshal’s Office.

A first-degree murder charge was applicable for Fana-Ruiz due to Delaware law that protects first responders who lose their lives while serving due to the “reckless behavior” of an individual.



According to court documents, Fana-Ruiz first told authorities she went to the basement, but could not remember anything else because she was drunk and on anxiety medication.

She then told ATF agents she was angry and went to the basement of the home where she started a fire. She then said she fled from the basement.

The charges include:

Two counts of Murder in the 1st Degree for the deaths of Lieutenant Christopher Leach and Senior Firefighter Jerry Fickes.

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