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Bail set at $100K for man charged in deadly Walmart van fire

August 8, 2019

ANOKA, Minn. (AP) — Bail has been set at $100,000 for a California man charged with causing a deadly van fire while camping in a Minnesota Walmart parking lot.

Prosecutors say the carelessness of 70-year-old Roberto Lino Hipolito, of Long Beach, California, was to blame for Tuesday’s fire in the Minneapolis suburb of Fridley that killed 6-year-old Ty’rah White and critically injured 9-year-old Taraji White. Authorities say Hipolito put a hot camp stove in his van without enough time to cool, and the resulting fire spread to an adjacent van where the girls were alone while their mother shopped.

Hipolito made his first court appearance Thursday on charges of second-degree manslaughter and negligent fire. He’s due back in court Sept. 5.

The girls’ mother, Essie McKenzie, says Taraji is still fighting for her life.

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