Updated:PINE HILLS, Fla. —
A devastating fire that killed a woman and two young children as it tore through a Pine Hills apartment complex has been ruled arson and their deaths homicides.
“The family didn’t deserve this,” said Sheyalua Pryor, a neighbor of the woman.
Channel 9 learned Thursday that authorities have identified a person of interest in the case, which led to the deaths of Carllans Fils-Aime and her two nephews, Jacque and Samuel Gustave, at the Misty Oaks Apartments on March 11.
Pryor said she never thought that the fire in the apartment above hers was an accident.
“It was murder,” she said. “We were like family to them. We talked to them every day when they [got] home from school.”
Deputies said Larunne Richardson spoke with them right after the fire but stopped cooperating shortly after. He has since been named a person of interest in the case.
Richardson was the man who alerted authorities to the fact that there might have been children inside when crews arrived to battle the blaze.
Authorities said he gave a statement, but then stopped cooperating.
Richardson has a criminal history, including a 2005 arrest for burglary of a dwelling with a firearm.
Court records also show he was charged in a domestic violence case.
Prior said she still can’t believe the family is gone.
She said she lost all her belongings in the fire, and has since moved to another building.