SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO (CBSLA.com) — A 20-year-old has died from injuries sustained in an Orange County condo fire, and her young son continues to fight for his life.
Maricela Sanchez was pulled out of the fire Tuesday morning in a second-floor unit at the Capistrano Villas, located in the 26500 block of La Zanja Street, in San Juan Capistrano, the OC Fire Authority said.
Sanchez died at 10:40 p.m. Wednesday at the UCI Medical Center in Orange.
According to dispatcher audio, Sanchez had been found in the burning condo, huddled next to her two young sons.
“She just wanted to protect them, she really loved them, so it doesn’t surprise us that she did everything she could and try to save them,” Sanchez’s sister said tearfully.
Her son, 3-year-old Jaiden Liborio, died just before midnight Tuesday at Children’s Hospital of Orange County in Mission Viejo. Two-year-old Iker remains in grave condition.
Seven other people were hospitalized due to the fire, according to authorities.
Authorities believe the fire, which spread to two condos and displaced 80 people, was most likely caused by a child playing with a lighter in the living room of one of the units. The official cause remains under investigation.