RICHMOND -- The son of a couple who perished last week in a fire that destroyed a garage converted to a residence has also died from his injuries, a Richmond fire official said Wednesday.
The San Francisco Medical Examiner's office said 28-year-old Chandee Viengvilai died late Friday at Saint Francis Hospital in San Francisco, where he was taken with burn injuries. The one-alarm blaze occurred just after 2:30 a.m. Friday in the 600 block of 21st Street.
His parents, Mearn Lee Pon, 56 and Bounkeo Viengvilai, 50, were pronounced dead at the scene from smoke inhalation, Richmond fire Battalion Chief Manly Moulton said.
The garage at the home had been converted to a one-bedroom residence, and fire crews arrived to find it fully engulfed, Moulton said. Chandee Viengvilai was on fire when he was found outside by fire crews, Moulton said.
A message left on the website for the RYSE Youth Center in Richmond said donations are being sought to help the family with burial services and to help support the couples' five surviving children. Relatives and neighbors said the family had immigrated from Laos in the 1990s.
Fire officials were investigating the cause of the blaze but were expected to release more information Wednesday. Fire Marshal Terry Harris said investigators had ruled out an electrical cause for the fire and that melted barbecue pits visible Friday did not spark the blaze. He said cigarette butts were found throughout the house and that fireworks also were present.
Contact Rick Hurd at 925-945-4789 and follow him at Twitter.com/3rdERH.