Charges Dropped in Fatal Retirement Home Fire in Vallejo

An alarm company had altered a panel at the Casa de Vallejo retirement complex, which made it appear the alarm system was working during the 2008 fire.

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    Fire investigators determined the blaze began accidentally when a resident fell asleep with a lit cigar.

    Prosecutors have dropped charges against five people in connection with a fire at a retirement home in Vallejo that killed three residents.

    Solano County prosecutor Karen Jensen said information surfaced showing an alarm company had altered a panel at the Casa de Vallejo retirement complex. The alteration made it appear the alarm system was working on Aug. 15, 2008 when the fire broke out when it was in fact disabled.

    Jensen said the five defendants — Ruben Islas, Jules Arthur, Martha Islas-Enriquez, Jeremy Turner and Michael Hagigeorgio — were not aware of the alteration. They either owned or operated the home.

    A judge dismissed manslaughter and elder abuse charges against them on Thursday at the request of prosecutors.

    Fire investigators determined the blaze began accidentally when a resident fell asleep with a lit cigar. More than 100 residents were displaced.