Name of Victim of Fatal Fire Released

FIre in a home

Smoke rises from the home in Fortuna where the fatal fire occurred. (Note: the date is incorrect on the photo) [Photo provided by Julie Wilson]

Press release from the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office: 

On 07/11/17, at approximately 5:15 in the morning, Fortuna Fire Dept. along with Loleta and Rio Dell Fire Depts. responded to reports of a structure fire in the Royal Crest Mobile Estates at the residential address, 1589 Imperial Lane. The Sheriff’s Office, Coroner Division, became involved when Fire located the single occupant of the mobile home, 76 year old Martha Ann Robertson (DOB 01/20/1941), deceased inside her residence.

The cause of death is inhalation of the products of combustion.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.



  • My heart goes out to her family , friends, First Responders, and Neighbors. So very tragic . RIP !

  • John & Terry Schmidt

    Our condolences to her family.

  • Catherine DeBoer

    It may be too late but I would like to set the record straight about the Fortuna Fire Department. She was a classic hoarder and had become paranoid. Her home was crammed, floor to ceiling with stuff…in all rooms. There were rats inside but she would not allow an exterminator to enter. She had multiple locks on the inside of her front door making it virtually impenetrable. It is likely that the fire had been burning for at least 3 hours before my call because neighbors reported smelling smoke as early as 2 AM. The Fortuna Fire Department did a heroic job keeping the fire from spreading to neighboring homes. Residents of Royal Crest thanked them repeatedly for their efforts. We knew Martie, and her death was tragic, but there was nothing anyone could do by the time I reported the fire. It is my hope and belief that she had perished from smoke inhalation long before any flames may have reached her.

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