VALLEJO, Calif. - A mother who set herself on fire at her Vallejo home earlier this week caused the residential blaze that took her life and killed her twin 14-year-old daughters, police said Thursday.
Physical evidence as well as victim and witness statements show Mau Dao, 47, set herself ablaze inside the Georgia Street home at 2:45 a.m. Sunday, police said. Dao died in the fire.
Her daughters, Trinh and Tram Tran, who were about to begin the 10th grade at Jesse Bethel High School in Vallejo, also died in the fire.
Friends remembered the twins as close friends who shared a love of wrestling and band class, but were distinctively different.
"One had a peppy, soft voice," said friend Daniel Alencastro. "And one was really loving and caring. They would always give you a hug."
Police were alerted to the fire by the twin’s 11-year-old sister, who escaped the fire through a window and flagged down an officer who was out on patrol. Police said the girl told officers there were three more people inside the home, but officers could not get into the home because it was fully engulfed in flames.
Vallejo firefighters put out the fire and removed three female victims from the small house.
One teen died at the scene. Her sister was transported to a local hospital, where she later died. The mother died at a local burn unit, police said.
Police said the 11-year-old girl was injured in the fire, but is expected to make a full recovery. She is now with her father, who was not home when the fire broke out, police said.
Police on Sunday classified the fire as suspicious and began an investigation that led to the findings released Thursday.