FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - Two people were found dead inside of a Fort Lauderdale home that went up in flames, Thursday morning, but investigators fear the fire may not be the cause of their deaths.
Police confirmed, Thursday afternoon, what neighbors already suspected, which is that the fire was no an accident. They believe the husband killed his wife, set the fire and then took his own life.
Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue responded to the home, located at 308 S.W. 22nd St., around 1:20 a.m. Upon their arrival, firefighters found flames shooting through the roof.
Neighbor Jeff Hald filmed cellphone video of the fire as firefighters tried to bust through the front door. “I saw the flames, and he had that door barricaded big time,” he said. “It was three big guys trying to kick that door in.”
“The crews found the house was fully engulfed,” said Fort Lauderdale Fire Marshal Jeff Lucas. “Went in, pulled two victims out. The victims were both deceased.”
Authorities have not identified the victims. However, neighbors told 7News that a couple in their 60s was living there.
Also discovered on the property was the family dog, who was found in the backyard unharmed. Neighbors have agreed to take care of the dog in the meantime.
Hald told 7News he heard gunshots before he saw the roaring fire. “It was about 11:30, 12 o’clock, we heard the shots, thought it was the TV, and then I came out, saw the flames in the back of the house,” said Hald. “When the first cop got here, he was kicking on the door for about 10 minutes till they could get in.”
Neighbors said the couple was going through a divorce. “You never know what’s going on in people’s lives, you know?” said neighbor Robin Puentes. “It’s really sad … They were really great, and they added a lot to our neighborhood, so I’m going to miss them.”
After the fire was put out, investigators could be seen taking pictures of a gas can in front of the home. “The gas can was next to the house. Firefighters, for safety reasons, would pull any unsafe things from around the house, and it is part of the investigation,” said Fire Marshal Jeff Lucas.
Lucas said the gas can is not the only thing investigators will focus on. “Shooting the whole scene, from the driveway to the backyard, is part of the scene investigation right now,” he said. “Everything is taken into context as part of the clues for initial scene investigation.”
Four agencies, including the State Fire Marshal’s Office, the City Fire Marshall, Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue and the Fort Lauderdale Police Department, are investigating the incident in order to figure out what caused the fire and the deaths of these people.
Officials have not released how both people were killed, as yet.
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