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Man working on Palmer Fire loses entire family in Benton City house fire

Raul Garcia-Santos lost his wife and three children in a fire in their mobile home on Aug. 27 while he was away working on the Palmer Fire.
Credit: KREM 2

BENTON CITY, Wash. — A wildland firefighter lost his wife and three children in a house fire in Benton City while he was away and working on the Palmer Fire, according to the Benton County Sheriff’s Office.

Marcaria Garcia-Martinez, 32, Luz Garcia-Martinez, 17, Luis Garcia-Martinez, 15, and Michelle Garcia-Martinez, 6, died of smoke inhalation on Aug. 27, according to Benton County Coroner William Leach.

The Benton County Sheriff’s deputies and Benton County Fire District 2 firefighters responded to the Green Acres Mobile Home Park for a report of a residential fire at 12:52 a.m. When they arrived on scene, officials said they found the home engulfed in flames and threatening nearby structures.

Sheriff’s office officials said once fire crews were able to go into the home, all four were found dead.

According to the sheriff’s office, it appears the fire started in the front or west end of the trailer where the kitchen/living room area was located. The cause is still undetermined and it is unknown if there were smoke detectors in the home.

According to Benton County Sheriff’s Lt. Jonathan Schwarder, the children’s father and husband to Marcaria, Raul Garcia-Santos, was fighting a fire near Tonasket at the time of the fire at his home. The only fire currently burning near Tonasket is the Palmer Fire.

A GoFundMe has been set up to help pay for the funerals. As of Wednesday, it has raised over $23,000.

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