Police in Sunnyvale were investigating Tuesday the death of a woman in a house fire the week before as a homicide, according to authorities.
An investigation into the one-alarm fire at Elizabeth Helen Blach's Sunnyvale home on Central Avenue last Tuesday determined the cause of the blaze was arson.
The Santa Clara County Coroner’s office identified Blach Tuesday as the woman found dead in the remains of the burnt house.
Investigators did not say if 61 year-old Blach died in the fire or if they believe she was dead when the fire started.
On June 18, firefighters responded reports of a house on fire in the 200 block of Central Ave. at around 6 a.m.
“We arrived on the scene and we had fire and smoke coming out all the doors and windows of the residence,” Rushmeyer said. “We made an aggressive knockdown of the fire and when we got into the residence we found the body of a woman in the kitchen area.”
A next-door neighbor who only wanted her first name of Michelle used said firefighters had little chance of a rescue.
“There was complete engulfment,” she said. “There were massive orange flames shooting all the way to the sidewalk…The whole house was completely engulfed.”
Neighbors told KTVU that Blach lived alone and led a weekly prayer group at her home
Police would not provide any other details on the investigation Tuesday.
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