There have been a number of questions about Tuesday’s fatal fire on North Kent Street. The purpose of this press release is to update the public on the investigation. The Winchester Police Department and the Winchester Fire and Rescue Department’s Fire Marshals are conducting a joint investigation into the fire. Joint investigations are conducted on all fires involving a fatality to determine the origin and cause of the fire, and the cause of death. On Tuesday, June 18, 2013 2-year-old Christian Cruz died in the fire at 300 North Kent Street. At this time the investigation is in the preliminary stages. Two search warrants have been obtained and executed. The first search was executed at 300 North Kent Street where the fire happened to help determine the origin and cause of the fire. Investigators detected a strong odor consistent with that of flammable liquid in the living room of the house. Evidence was collected and sent to the state forensic lab for analysis. The second search was completed in a trash compactor at Winchester Medical Center. The purpose of the second search was to recover the clothing worn by Sherry Cruz, the only adult inside the house when the fire happened.
The fire on Tuesday was very tragic, as a child lost his life and two others were injured. We ask for the media’s patience as investigators continue to determine the cause of the fire.
The family is grateful for the community’s support and donations, but they ask that all monetary donations be made at Enders and Shirley Funeral Home in Berryville and all other donations be made to Highland Memorial Presbyterian Church in Winchester.
As we are able to release additional information, we will hold another press conference.
Anyone with information on the fire is asked to call Crime Solvers at 540-665-TIPS, Sgt. Frank Myrtle at (540) 545-4717, or Assistant Fire Marshal Matt Gearhart at (540) 545-4712.