2 arrested after fatal house fire in Fremont

Eugene and Virginia Balderama
Eugene and Virginia Balderama
Ian Balderama
Ian Balderama
Matthew Balderama
Matthew Balderama
Reported by Paula Johnson - email

Posted by Nick Dutton - email

FREMONT, OH (WTOL) - A Fremont man is dead after his home caught on fire. Now his two sons are behind bars accused of setting the fire.

It happened on Carbon Street in Fremont early Saturday morning.

Virginia Balderama says her lungs are still filled with smoke after she and her husband narrowly escaped a Saturday morning fire.

Police believe the fire was set by Eugene Balderama's grand kids, 24-year-old Ian and 22-year-old Matthew.

Eugene says this is what detectives say happened.

"They just pour gas down the stairs and threw a match. Trying to pull a joke on other grand kids that live in the basement."

Eugene and Virginia Balderama say they were asleep in this bedroom when the fire broke out. They were able to feel their way through the house and make it to safety. But George who was sleep in this room didn't make it out.

"We thought he went to work, didn't hear any noise in there, went on out."

The victim, George Balderama, is the father of both suspects who were arrested Saturday evening.

"Just can't believe they would. They were nice kids. We took them in when they didn't have no place to live."

Now with significant damage inside the home, the Balderamas say they'll need to find a new place to live, all while mourning the death of the son they called Georgie.