San Diego

School Honors Siblings Killed in Rancho Bernardo Apartment Fire

Two children killed after flames ripped through their home in Bernardo Terrace were honored with a mural at their elementary school.

Sunset Hills Elementary School held the dedication ceremony for Cristos and Isabella Lopez. Prosecutors say the siblings were killed in a fire last October caused by their intoxicated father, Henry Lopez, who fell asleep with a lit cigarette.

The school unveiled a mural painted on campus by two students in the brother and sister's honor.

Their mother, Nikia Lopez, says she was moved by the gesture and but admitted it wasn't easy getting through the dedication.

"Some days I black it out," Nikia said. "I've been in the bed for the last three days. Some days I can't even get out of bed. I'm at the therapist office four times a week because I'm on no medication, I'm going through this raw."

Friends say Cristos Lopez was a mentor to other students in an after-school program. Nikia wore Isabella's favorite cat ears on her head during the ceremony.

If convicted, their father faces 14 years behind bars.

Friends told NBC7 Cristos was supposed to graduate from Sunset Hills Elementary School here on Wednesday.

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