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Prosecutor: Decision on Pratt fire that killed twin boys is coming Friday

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Wednesday, April 9, 2014, at 4:46 p.m.
  • Updated Friday, April 11, 2014, at 11:25 a.m.

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The Pratt County prosecutor said he will announce his decision Friday on whether to file a charge in a Dec. 23 house fire that killed twin boys.

Pratt County Attorney Ken Van Blaricum said Wednesday afternoon that he couldn’t comment further until Friday.

Fire investigators have already determined that the fire in Pratt was accidental and resulted from “careless and improper cooking methods causing a grease fire in the kitchen,” according to a state report obtained by The Eagle in February through an open-records request.

The report, compiled by the Office of the State Fire Marshal, said that although fire investigators have closed their portion of the investigation, “Pratt Police Department has ongoing investigation for potential criminal charges to be presented to the County Attorney.”

The twin brothers, Jayce and Jasper Ibarra, who were nearly 2, died in the fire.

According to the fire marshal’s report, the first firefighter to arrive at the burning house that afternoon saw the twins’ mother, 24-year-old Destry Ibarra, on the porch roof and black smoke spewing from a second-floor window where she was perched. She appeared to be covered in black soot and “was yelling that her babies were inside and she needed to get them out,” the report said.

The boys’ 34-year-old father, Ramon Ibarra, has told The Eagle that he had gone to the store and returned home to find a crew fighting the fire. He saw his wife outside and learned that his sons remained inside, he said the day after the fire.

Autopsies found that the boys had “thermal injuries” to their skin and “visible soot in the airways,” the report said. “Jayce Ibarra had a CO level of 84% with Jasper Ibarra having a CO level of 88%.” The CO level is a byproduct of burning materials.

Destry Ibarra was taken to a hospital in Pratt and transferred to a Wichita hospital. “No burns were noted; medical staff stated her CO level was 3%,” the report said.

Reach Tim Potter at 316-268-6684 or tpotter@wichitaeagle.com.

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