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Woman responsible for deadly Canby Park fire sentenced to 30 years in prison

Delaware Public Media

Beatriz Fana-Ruiz has been sentenced to 30 years in prison followed by 2.5 years probation after setting fire to her Canby Park home in 2016. 


The blazeled to the deaths of Wilmington firefighters Christopher Leach, Jerry Fickes and Ardythe Hope.


Delaware Department of Justice (DOJ) officials say U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is also seeking to deport Fana-Ruiz to her home country of the Dominican Republic when she is released from custody in Delaware. 



Fana-Ruiz pleaded guilty to arson, assault and second-degree murder this summer and faced between 17 years and life in prison.  Prosecutors sought 25 years.


According to the state DOJ, she set the fire in her basement as a reaction to her living conditions. 

The case against Fana-Ruiz was not the only one related to the fire. 

Wilmington firefighters who survived the Canby Park fire as well as family of those who died filed a federal lawsuit against city officials last summer alleging the deadliness of the fire resulted from the longstanding Wilmington Fire Department policy of rolling bypasses.

Sophia Schmidt is a Delaware native. She comes to Delaware Public Media from NPR’s Weekend Edition in Washington, DC, where she produced arts, politics, science and culture interviews. She previously wrote about education and environment for The Berkshire Eagle in Pittsfield, MA. She graduated from Williams College, where she studied environmental policy and biology, and covered environmental events and local renewable energy for the college paper.
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