Local News

Three Men Charged With Arson, Murder In Duplin Fire

Posted January 13, 1997 12:00 a.m. EST

— Three men have been arrested and charged with three counts of first-degree murder and three counts of first-degree arson in connection with a fatal fire Sunday night in Warsaw.

Three people died in the fire that consumed La Tapatia Mexican Tienda and the apartments above it late Sunday night.

Officials say that the fire broke out about 10:30 p.m. night, with 15 people inside at the time.

A man, a woman and a 7-year-old boy were killed in the fire. Eleven people were injured, and three are still hospitalized. Many injuries were caused by people jumping from second-story windows to escape flames.

Jose Orosco had to jump from a window to survive the fire, but he lost three friends.

Officers think that a domestic dispute may have been the motive behind the fire, but won't know for certain until more is known about the suspects.

On the day after the fire, Front Street in Warsaw is still smoldering.

Vera Murphy witnessed the start of the fire, and was able to help firefighters piece together what happened very quickly.

Hiram Brinson, Duplin County Fire Marshall, explained that officers did the best they could to go into the building and make sure everyone got out alive, but were unable to get to everyone due to the heat of the fire.

Mark Robertsreporting.