PITTSBURG -- A memorial fund has been set up to help a Pittsburg family bury three relatives who died in a house fire earlier this month.

The three women -- identified as Ana Gonzalez, 77, Sandra Gonzalez, 51, and Maritza Mena, 49 -- perished in a two-alarm fire around 12:30 a.m. on Sept. 15 inside a home in the 200 block of Dimaggio Avenue.

Investigators found three smoke detectors on a countertop, all without batteries. The cause of death for the three women was smoke inhalation, officials said. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Mena leaves behind a 19-year-old daughter, who along with another relative, is raising money to pay for funeral costs, said next-door neighbor Tracy DePiero.

"At 19, it's very difficult to try to grieve and find money to bury them as well," said DePiero. "It's an overwhelming dollar amount."

Anyone who wants to help can donate to the M&G Memorial Fund at any Wells Fargo branch by using the account number 6719772284.

David DeBolt covers breaking news. Contact him in Richmond at 510-262-2728. Follow him at Twitter.com/daviddebolt.



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