OAKLAND (CBS SF) — The body of a person believed to be the target of a home eviction was discovered Tuesday morning after an explosion injured two Alameda County sheriff’s deputies serving the eviction notice at a West Oakland triplex.
Deputies were in the process of entering the building at 14th and Peralta streets at about 11 a.m. when there was an explosion in the rear of the two-story structure, sheriff’s Sgt. J.D. Nelson said. Both were hospitalized with minor injuries although one suffered a concussion.
When deputies arrived at the home, they found a key had been broken inside the lock of the front door.
A locksmith was brought in and the explosion occurred as he was drilling into the lock. “As I heard the drill, then I heard the explosion, boom!” resident Gideon Wandera said.
Nelson told KCBS Radio firefighters discovered a badly-burned body, possibly the target of the eviction, inside one of the units. “We are in the process of figuring out exactly what happened, if he was deceased prior to the deputies getting there or if he’s deceased by intentionally igniting that explosion as the deputies went to go in the home.”
The target of the eviction was a man who neighbors described as a quiet, but troubled loner.
At the time Nelson spoke with KCBS Radio, the identity of the body was not confirmed, nor whether it was male or female.
One man who escaped the burning building believes his fellow tenant booby-trapped the house with natural gas when he knew deputies were coming to evict him.
The explosion set the home on fire and Oakland firefighters responded to put the fire out.
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