(FRIDLEY) – A man from California faces charges after deputies say his negligence lead to a deadly fire at the Walmart in Fridley.
It happened Tuesday morning around 7:15 in the parking lot of the store.
“Our hearts are with the family of these children and to the child who remains in critical condition,” said Anoka County Attorney Tony Palumbo. “While we cannot undo the carelessness that led to this tragedy, we can pursue justice and demand accountability.”
According to investigators, 71-year-old Roberto Hipolito placed a still-hot cookstove into his Dodge Caravan and went into the store while his wife stayed in the van. The van then caught fire, and caught the van next to it on fire. Inside the second van were a six-year-old girl and her nine-year-old sister. Their mother was in the store shopping.
Both girls suffered burns and the six-year-old died the next day from her injuries. The nine-year-old sister remains in critical condition.
Anoka County authorities have charged Hipolito with second-degree manslaughter and two felony counts of negligent fire.
A judge issued a $150,000 bond for Hipolito, reduced to $100,000 if he surrendered a passport to authorities.
The investigation continues.