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Hollister Police Department
Saturday January 5th, 2013 :: 02:25 p.m. PST



HOLLISTER, CALIFORNIA – January 5, 2013 – On January 4, 2013, Hollister Police Officers were conducting an investigation on the 1500 block of Valley View Road. Officers noticed smoke coming from a nearby apartment. They ran to the apartment and were able to rescue three children that were left home alone.

Hollister Police Officers Carlos Rodriguez and David Anderson were in the area investigating an unrelated case at about 8:30 a.m. Officer Rodriguez noticed a substantial amount of smoke coming from an upstairs apartments located across the street from their location. Rodriguez immediately notified SCR911 and requested the Hollister Fire Department.

Officer Anderson and Rodriguez ran across the street and up the stairs to the apartment. Officer Rodriguez was met at the front door by a frantic 10 year-old child. The child was screaming as he told the officer that his young brother and sister were still inside and there was a large fire in the kitchen. Rodriguez ran into the house and found a two-year-old child standing in the middle of the living room in his pajamas; staring at the fire. The room was quickly filling with more smoke. Officer Rodriguez scooped the child up in his arm. On his way out, he saw another child, who looked to be around five-years-of age. This child was asleep on the couch.

Officer Rodriguez woke the child and they all ran out of the building. Officer Anderson also went into the home and noticed flames over the stove and up the wall toward the ceiling. He quickly knocked on the nearby apartments and had the tenants evacuate. He then retrieved a fire extinguisher and went back into the apartment and doused the flames.

The Hollister Fire Department and CAL FIRE arrived and completely put out the remaining smoldering fire. During the course of this investigation police learned the children were left unattended. Their mother had gone to the store and left the stove on. San Benito County Child Protective Services was notified and the case has been referred to that agency as well as the San Benito County District Attorney’s Office.

The Hollister Police Department would like to remind everyone of the dangers of leaving children unattended. This occurrence is a perfect example of how quickly a life threatening situation can arise when small children are left home alone. Had it not been for the quick response and actions of the officers the outcome of this event could have been tragic.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is requested to contact Officer Carlos Rodriguez at 636-4330. Persons wishing to remain anonymous may call WeTip at (800) 78-CRIME. Information provided to WeTip may qualify for a reward.

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Prepared by: Don Pershall, Sergeant
Approved by: Carlos Reynoso, Interim Chief of Police

Hollister Police Department
395 Apollo Way
Hollister, CA 95023

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 831-636-4330

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