Investigators Are Not Ruling Out Arson in Blaze That Killed Nine

<i> From Associated Press</i>

Investigators sorting through evidence in a house fire that killed nine people said Sunday that they had not ruled out arson as the cause, and were treating the investigation as a homicide case, officials said.

“It’s being listed as suspicious because of the origin,” said San Mateo County Sheriff’s Sgt. Donald O’Keefe. “It was six in the morning. No one was out there working in the carport area, no one had a barbecue going.”

The blaze that began early Saturday in a carport and quickly engulfed the home killed four adults and five small children. The bodies were found in hallways, bedrooms and closets. All were trapped by security bars on windows. Rescue efforts were thwarted by a burning car near the front door and two pit bulls and a 60-pound Rottweiler at the back.


O’Keefe said investigators were examining evidence from the carport to determine whether an accelerant had been used. Neighbors and victims’ relatives were also being questioned.

In addition to those killed by the blaze, seven people, including three firefighters, suffered injuries. O’Keefe said all were recovering Sunday.