SANTEE, Calif. — Investigators found a body in a San Diego County house destroyed by fire, after a man called 911 saying he was going to shoot his wife and himself, authorities said.
The body was found Saturday night in the ashes and rubble of the home in Santee, but the person’s identity was not immediately clear, Sheriff’s Lieutenant Dennis Brugos said.
“He said he was going to kill his wife, kill himself, and burn his house down,’’ Brugos told KNSD-TV.
The search resumed yesterday for a second body.
Neighbor Ruth Taloza told the San Diego Union-Tribune that she had spoken with the man earlier in the day, and he told her his wife had cancer and they were being evicted.
“He told me they’re being kicked out of their home and they were both laid off from their jobs,’’ Taloza told the newspaper. “They had tried for a lower loan rate and were denied.’’
About 30 minutes later, Taloza saw flames shooting out of the garage.
The man, whose name has not been released, placed the call just after 2:30 p.m., Sheriff’s Lieutenant Jim Duffy said.
Responding crews found the house in flames and a plume of smoke in the air visible for miles.
Some surrounding residents were evacuated, and one adjacent house was scorched, Duffy said.
Firefighters had to wait at the bottom of a hill below the house for about 20 minutes before taking on the blaze because of fears that an armed suspect was inside, authorities said.
Brugos said investigators learned the man had at least one firearm and had expressed financial concerns.
Lindsay Collins drove by the house just after the fire started.
“I was driving by, and the garage door was half-open, and I heard an explosion, and it was like this red-orange glow,’’ Collins told KSND.