Afternoon Newsletter

March 17, 2013

A second woman dies after a house fire in Merced

A second woman who was burned in an east Merced house fire has died.

Also, another house fire in the same area was reported early Saturday.

Susan Crabb, 51, who was in critical condition, died Saturday, a hospital official confirmed.

Lindsea Crabb, 22, died Tuesday afternoon in a burn unit at Community Regional Medical Center in Fresno.

Merced Fire Chief Mike McLaughlin said the incident is a reminder for people to have functioning fire alarms in their homes, which can reduce the possibility of injury. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family,” he said.

Susan and Lindsea Crabb were among the six people who were injured in the fire, reported just after 5:30 a.m. Monday at the 2321 Green St. residence.

A man was also hospitalized after the fire and was reported being in stable condition last week. The other victims suffered smoke inhalation and were treated in the area.

On Saturday, another house fire was reported about 5 a.m. at 1050 E. 22nd Street, said Batallion Chief Don Roe of the Merced Fire Department. The fire caused about $35,000 in estimated damages, he said.

The house was a home under renovation and nobody was at the residence at the time of the fire, McLaughlin said. The fire appears to be suspicious, but remains under investigation, he said.

Three engines, one truck and one batallion chief responded to the fire, which took about 25 minutes to extinguish, Roe said.

Meanwhile, the cause of the fire for the residence on Green Street remains under investigation, he said. It is pending an investigation from the insurance company.

Personnel from the insurance company collected a few things that had to be analyzed by engineers, Roe said. The house was engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived at the scene.

Firefighters were able to control the blaze in 55 minutes.

The fire caused about $55,000 in damage to the three-bedroom home with an area of about 1,100 square feet.

Federal investigators with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were called to assist with the investigation because of the number of people who were hurt in the blaze.

The Red Cross was able to assist family members with temporary housing at an area hotel.

McLaughlin said people can call the fire department if they have questions regarding fire alarms.

Reporter Yesenia Amaro can be reached at (209)385-2482, or

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