London homicide victim found in fire aftermath

London homicide victim found in fire aftermath - A probe into a early-morning fire Monday quickly became London’s fourth homicide investigation of the year, with a body found in the east-end house and a man detained for questioning.

The body was removed from the east-end home on Manitoba St., but tight-lipped police wouldn’t say if it was that of a man or a woman.

An unidentified man was arrested in the afternoon.

“We’ve got reasonable grounds to believe he committed a criminal offence,” said Const. Ken Steeves.

Police believe the deceased person and the suspect may have known each other.

Firefighters were called to 361 Manitoba St. about 3:20 a.m. after a neighbour walking his dog heard a fire alarm and noticed smoke billowing from the back of the house.

While putting out the fire, firefighters found the body inside, Steeves said.

Police and the Ontario Fire Marshal’s office were called to investigate because of evidence that pointed to a deliberately-set fire, he said.

Police wouldn’t say whether they believe the body is that of a man who’s lived in the house the last four months.

Neighbours describe the tenant at the house as a quiet, friendly, church-going man who operates a landscaping business.

“He’d do anything for you,” said Larry Douglas, a friend.

Douglas said he’s known his friend for years from going to the same gym, and they spent Sunday afternoon together doing yard work.

“It’s bizarre,” he said from the sidewalk, looking at the emergency vehicles parked nearby.

As forensic investigators surveyed the scene, two vehicles from A-Shamrock Tree removal remained parked outside the house.

Police tape surrounded the property.

Across the street, neighbour Rachel Connors said she was smoking outdoors about 2:45 a.m., about 40 minutes before firefighters arrived.

She said she wondered why a white pickup truck was parked outside the house.

Just after 3:20 a.m., neighbour Richard Vasseur stepped out to walk his dog, heard a smoke detector alarm and saw smoke pouring out of the house.

He called 911.

It was the second fire at the home in recent months, said neighbours, who said the first was triggered by a deep fryer.

An autopsy is expected Tuesday.


Link to article: London homicide victim found in fire aftermath


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