Dozens of firefighters from the Porterville Fire Department, Cal Fire and Fresno County Fire responded to the blaze that broke out in the Porterville Public Library in California's Central Valley just after 4 p.m. Tuesday and burned for hours.
The police department began getting reports after the fire started that the two suspects were seen running away from the library. They were located and arson investigators determined they started the fire, FOX 26 of Fresno reported.
Porterville Fire Capt. Raymond Figueroa, 35, and Porterville Firefighter Patrick Jones, 25, were reportedly killed while battling the fire, according to KMPH-TV. Jones was originally reported missing.
Figueroa joined the department in 2007 and Jones in 2017.
The suspects were charged with arson, manslaughter, and conspiracy and booked into the Porterville Juvenile Justice Center. They have not been identified.
The library was built in 1953 and doesn’t have a sprinkler system. Its roof collapsed and the walls are unstable, FOX 26 reported.
“It’s heart-wrenching,” Tameran Anzivino, who works at the library, told Fresno's KSEE-TV. “It’s sad, this is the beloved Porterville city library. It’s the hub of the city and its heartbreaking to see it go down like this.”