Fire that killed mom, twin daughters began with mom’s self-immolation, police say

A fire at a home in the San Francisco Bay Area this week that killed a mother and her 14-year-old twin daughters started when the mother deliberately set herself ablaze, police said Thursday.

Evidence at the scene as well as information gathered from witnesses showed that Mau Dao, 47, committed an act of self-immolation at her home in Vallejo, about 32 miles north of San Francisco, the Bay Area’s FOX 2 reported

The blaze, which started around 2:45 a.m. Sunday, also killed twins Trinh and Tram Tran, who were about to become high school sophomores, the report said.

One teen died at the scene, while the other teen died in a hospital and their mother died in a burn unit, FOX 2 reported.

The twins’ 11-year-old sister was injured in the fire, but managed to escape from the home. A police officer on patrol spotted the girl, who told him the others were still inside the home, but the fire by then was too intense.

The 11-year-old was expected to make a full recovery and was staying with her father, the Associated Press reported.

In this Aug. 5, 2018, picture, construction crews work at a house after a fire in Vallejo, Calif. Northern California police say a woman set herself on fire inside the home, killing herself and her twin 14-year-old daughters. (Scott Strazzante/San Francisco Chronicle via AP)
A worker clears debris after Sunday’s deadly fire in Vallejo, Calif. (Associated Press)

According to FOX 2, the twins were remembered for sharing interests in wrestling and band class, but had distinctive personalities.

“One had a peppy, soft voice,” friend Daniel Alencastro told the station. “And one was really loving and caring. They would always give you a hug.”

Police on Sunday classified the fire as suspicious and began an investigation that led to the findings released Thursday.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.