Regional
6:04 pm
Tue October 18, 2011

Homeowner Sentenced In Fire That Killed Three Near Las Cruces

Las Cruces – The owner of a mobile home in Chaparral that caught fire in 2009, killing three people inside, has pled guilty to three counts of involuntary manslaughter in state district court.

On Nov. 18, 2009, Dona Ana County Fire and Emergency crews were called to the 2500 block of Capital, where they found the home of Abraham Rodriguez fully engulfed in flames. Firefighters were told friends of Rodriguez's daughter, who were renting a room at the home, were trapped inside.

Wrought iron bars on the windows prevented crews from rescuing Rodolfo Millan, 17, his sister, Elena Millan, 20, and Elena's one year-old daughter, Aileen. All three died in the fire.

The Dona Ana County Fire Marshal's Office, along with Dona Ana County Sheriff's Investigators, concluded that Rodriguez had illegally bypassed electrical breakers from a service pole, running several yards of extension cords from the pole to the home to provide power.

According to Deputy District Attorney Scott Key, a state district judge ruled earlier today that Rodriguez's negligent use of the extension cords was the cause of the deadly fire.

Rodriguez was sentenced to four and a half years probation.