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DA: Gas Can & Fuel Found at House Fire Where Kids Were Left Home Alone

Published On: Apr 10 2013 12:19:58 PM CDT
Updated On: Apr 10 2013 12:54:20 PM CDT
Rebecca Moralez photo
OROVILLE, Calif. -

A Chico mother appeared in court Wednesday morning on child endangerment charges.

Rebecca Moralez, 38, was arrested on March 23 after a fire broke out at her Chico home in the early morning hours. 

Moralez admitted to KRCR News Channel 7 she left her 8- and 9-year-old daughters home alone overnight.  Around 2:30 a.m. a fire broke out.  The girls awoke to find their mother gone and the house on fire.

Both girls escaped without injury.

In court Wednesday, prosecutors said firefighters told them they found a Coleman gas can in the home, "surrounded by fuel."  They did not specify if the gas can was the source of the house fire. 

Previously, investigators described the fire as incendiary, which means it was a suspicious human-caused fire.

In court, the defense attorney asked the judge if Moralez could be released from jail to attend a 12-month drug recovery program.  The judge denied the request and ordered Moralez to remain in custody.

Moralez's preliminary hearing will be continued Apr. 17 at 8:30 a.m.