Woman admits causing deadly fire that killed her children, grandmother

RIVERSIDE  – A 31-year-old woman who caused a Lake Elsinore house fire that killed her two young children and grandmother, as well as injured her mother and another child, pleaded guilty today to over a dozen felony charges and was immediately sentenced to 12 years in state prison.
Devinn Elysse Fisher admitted four counts of causing a fire resulting in great bodily injury or death, as well as three counts each of involuntary manslaughter, child cruelty and animal abuse, and one count each of burning an inhabited structure and elder abuse.
The plea was made directly to Riverside County Superior Court Judge David Gunn during a status hearing at the Riverside Hall of Justice. The District Attorney’s Office did not negotiate the agreement, which was proffered by the defense. Deputy District Attorney Sarah Crowley objected to the bargain, telling Gunn that the prosecution offered “a fair trial to the defendant.”
Crowley read a victim impact statement from a family member not identified in court minutes, stating Fisher had never expressed remorse for what happened.
“She needs to be held accountable and serve a sentence that is appropriate for all the pain and agony she caused to the victims, and for what she took from this family,” according to the statement.
The prosecution was seeking a minimum sentence of 18 to 20 years in prison for Fisher.
Fisher has been held in lieu of $2 million bail at the Smith Correctional Facility in Banning since her arrest in March 2021, following a joint investigation by sheriff’s detectives and Cal Fire personnel.
She was under suspicion from the time of the blaze that engulfed the house at 32956 Blackwell Blvd., near Grand Avenue, on Jan. 25, 2021.
Fisher resided there with her mother, 53-year-old Julia Fisher, grandmother, 85-year-old Phyllis Fisher, and four children, two of whom died in the flames. They were 2-year-old Julian Alcaraz-Fisher and his sister, 1-year-old Arya Alcaraz.
Flames erupted inside the garage of the single-story house shortly before 3 p.m. that Monday. According to witnesses, the blaze spread rapidly, consuming the garage and extending into the rest of the house as neighbors rushed to help, trying in vain to reach the victims.
Multiple county fire crews converged on the property within 10 minutes and were immediately alerted to occupants trapped.
Arya and Julian died at the scene, and Phyllis Fisher was severely burned, along with her daughter, whose three dogs died in the fire. Crews got the fire under control 45 minutes later.
The cause wasn’t specified.
Fisher was also burned, as was one of her other children, whose name was not released. The girl ultimately recovered.
Phyllis Fisher died from her injuries two days afterward, despite undergoing treatment at Arrowhead Regional Burn Center. Her daughter was also treated there and spent weeks in burn recovery, according to family friends.
Devinn Fisher was released from the hospital within a week.
She had a prior misdemeanor conviction from 2013 for petty theft.
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