OAKLAND (CBS SF) — The East Oakland apartment complex where a man was found dead in a suspicious fire early Saturday morning was also the site of a Feb. 7 home invasion robbery where an elderly woman was found dead, a police spokeswoman said.
Neighbors believe the man killed Saturday was her nephew.
The deadly fire happened at the same apartment complex where 77-year-old Susan Fong was found dead after a home invasion robbery was found dead after a home invasion robbery, Oakland police spokeswoman Johnna Watson.
Stunned neighbors told KPIX 5 the man set on fire was Fong’s nephew Richard, the caretaker of the property. One woman, who wished to remain anonymous, said she heard and recognized his screams.
Fire crews were dispatched to reports of the fire in the 1800 block of 34th Avenue around 5 a.m., according to Oakland fire Battalion Chief James Bowron.
Crews arriving on scene realized the blaze was mainly burning the outside of an apartment building. Firefighters then discovered the badly burned body in an alleyway in between two apartment buildings, Bowron said.
Crews quickly extinguished the blaze and kept it from spreading to a neighboring building, he said.
An arson investigator and Oakland police were called to the scene around 5:10 a.m., according to police.
Oakland police detectives were calling Saturday morning’s incident a homicide, and the coroner’s office was working to determine the victim’s identity as well as the circumstances surrounding the death, according to Watson.
Watson said the person was so badly burned that it was difficult to identify their gender. However the victim was eventually determined to be a male adult.
In the February 7th home invasion, police say Susan Fong was tied up and murdered. Her nephew was also inside. He told police he was also tied up, but left unharmed.
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