AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWhicker: Clemson demonstrates that it’s tough to knock out the champ“It just happened to be in the same area,” Bezart said. “Gang investigators are following up right now.” Earlier today, Long Beach fire investigators said they were nearly positive the blaze that killed the three children was caused by a portable heater plugged into an overloaded power strip. The blaze, which started about 2 a.m. Friday in an illegally converted garage apartment at 1052 1/2 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. may have started with the heater’s electrical cord. Stephanie Aviles, 6, and Jasmine Aviles, 10, were declared dead at the scene. Their 7-year-old sister, Jocelin Aviles, 7, died yesterday morning, according to the Long Beach Press-Telegram. An aunt of three young sisters burned to death in a tragic house fire in Long Beach was wounded Sunday night by a stray bullet at a vigil to collect donations to pay for her nieces’ funeral, police said. The woman was at a vigil for the girls about 7 p.m. near 10 Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue, which is where the fire occurred, when an apparent gang-related shooting happened nearby, said Long Beach police Officer Jackie Bezart. A man was shot and the aunt was wounded by a stray bullet, Bezart said. Their injuries did not appear to be life-threatening, and Bezart said there did not appear to be a connection between the vigil and the shootings. She had burns over almost half of her body and suffered several cardiac arrests, Long Beach Memorial Medical Center spokesman Rick Damrel told the newspaper. The roughly 300-square foot garage had been converted into a two-room apartment, but had no smoke detector, firefighters said. A makeshift memorial sprung up in front of the home yesterday, where the mother of the children, Daisy Duran was comforted by boyfriend Elio Chavez. The three girls were spending the night in the converted garage with their 17-year-old aunt, Nancy Dearmas, who was not the woman who was shot. When the fire broke out, Dearmas ran out to get help. When she tried to get back into the garage, fire blocked the only entrance. Daisy Duran, the mother of the children, was at her home at the time of the fire with her three youngest children, a 5-year-old boy, a 3-year-old girl and a 2-year-old girl, the Press-Telegram reported. Duran had to get up at 6 a.m. to do court-ordered community service for driving with a suspended license, and the girls told her they did not want to get up that early. “I never leave them anywhere,” she told the Press-Telegram. The Red Cross is providing shelter, food, clothing and mental health care for the family, and will provide $500 for each child for funeral expenses, Red Cross spokesperson Margaret Arbini-Madonna told the newspaper. A fund also was set up for the single mother at Washington Mutual; the account number is 497-698850-6. It was unclear if the property owner would be cited for the illegal residence. Family members said Dearmas was inconsolable. “She thinks it’s her fault,” Duran told the Press-Telegram. Duran said her three youngest children do not understand what happened. “Yesterday, when we were at the hospital, they were asking where Jasmine was,” she said.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!