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APD says father responsible for deadly fire that killed him and his 7-year-old son

Fire death
July 13, 2023

ALBUQUERQUE – APD homicide detectives determined a 42-year-old father started the deadly fire in his home that resulted in his death and the death of his 7-year-old son.

Detectives responded to the home Monday morning at 3109 Pitt St NE after AFR personnel located two deceased individuals, one juvenile male and his father Luis Barraza-Robles, in the residence while combating a structure fire. First-responders also located Luis' wife and the juvenile male’s mother, Olivia Cuen-Lopez, who survived injuries sustained in the fire.

An investigation was initiated with the assistance of the AFR Fire Investigation/Arson Division and the APD Major Crime Scene Team. Based upon an examination of the scene, statements provided by Olivia, and other corroborative evidence, at this time it has been determined that the death of the juvenile male was a homicide.

Olivia and Luis were involved in a domestic violence altercation which resulted in Luis threatening Olivia with a knife. Based upon the evidence at this time, Luis was responsible for lighting the fire that took his life and the life of the juvenile male. Luis attempted to leave the residence with his son, but both succumbed to the effects of smoke inhalation prior to exiting the home. Olivia, who was trapped by the fire and unable to exit the residence, took refuge in a bathroom of the home until she was rescued by AFR firefighters. Due to the nature of the fire, the smoke within the residence was thick and made visibility and breathing difficult.

AFR was not made aware of this specific structure fire but they were in the area when they noticed black smoke coming from 3109 Pitt St NE while driving by the residence. AFR proactively investigated the source of the smoke, located the fire, and began combating the fire. Due to the observations and the quick action of AFR personnel, they were able to rescue Olivia and contain the fire.