PLACER COUNTY (CBS13) — A suspicious fire left a man dead inside his home just west of Roseville.
The fire followed two explosions that were heard throughout the neighborhood. A teenager who was also inside the home made it out alive. Investigators are still working to determine a cause of the deadly blaze and say homicide and suicide have not been ruled out.
“It’s horrific. It’s horrific what happened to this man,” said neighbor Steven Swope.
Swope passes by the home every day and says the man who lived there was a pleasant man.
“He was very, very friendly and seemed like a nice guy,” he said.
Tuesday morning, tragedy struck on Hazeltine Lane.
“There were two bangs,” said one neighbor who heard the commotion.
First, an explosion, followed by flames. Authorities say the fire started in the garage, where a middle-aged man was found dead inside. Neighbors say his 13-year-old daughter made it out of the home safely.
“I don’t know if someone was after him, it’s pretty frightening,” said a neighbor.
Investigators can’t say yet if the death was a homicide or suicide or if the cause of the fire was accidental or intentional.
“I just hope it was just an accident, but you never know,” said Swope.
Crews spent the evening combing through the scene, photographing evidence in the garage including a charred car, and removing guns and animals from inside the home.
“It’s so scary and I’m so sad,” said Stephanie Heise who lives nearby.
The name of the victim has not been released. Multiple neighbors tell CBS13 the man was recently divorced and had his house up for sale not long ago. They also say there was another fire in the same home a few years ago.
Swope said, “The fire department had to come out to possibly put it out or whatever.”
But this time the explosive flames turned deadly, leaving this typically quiet neighborhood rattled.
“We’re very distraught. I can’t quit thinking about it. Nobody can.”
The Placer County Sheriffs Office says an autopsy will be performed to determine the cause of death.