Homicide and arson investigators looking into man's suspicious death in Cupertino house fire
CUPERTINO, Calif. - Santa Clara County sheriff’s homicide investigators and the county’s arson investigator worked the scene of what officials said was a suspicious death.
"This is definitely a very odd an suspicious circumstance that we’re dealing with right now. And we’re going to utilize all of our resources from our detectives unit to see exactly what happened," said Sgt. Russell Davis, a spokesman for the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office.
Investigators said around 4:30 a.m. Monday, something sparked a fire at 1055 Tuscany Place in Cupertino, engulfing the two floor home in smoke and flames. Firefighters said the fire started in a back bedroom.
"Initially we were given a report that one person was trapped inside. We got accountability of the two. But the third was found in the hallway here, deceased," said Santa Clara County Fire Dept. Battalion Chief Mike Mathiesen.
Occupants of the home said the owner rents our rooms by the month or year. As many as seven residents are living in the home.
"It’s okay. It’s just a room. Just stay there and nobody bothers you kind of thing," said Frederick, a resident of the house who declined to give his last name.
Multiple neighbors told KTVU the house has become a problem in the neighborhood. They said trash is often strewn about, and people are coming and going all hours of the day.
"That’s [why] people didn’t like it. All kinds of people coming in. Strange…at night, and all that," said neighbor Vicki Melinauskas.
Santa Clara County sheriff’s officials confirmed they’ve made multiple service calls to this house.
This past Summer, neighbors said they signed a petition demanding the owner evict the current tenants. The home’s owner declined to address complaints about his property as he left the scene.
The Cupertino city manager released a statement read in part, "Given that some of the complaints were about internal occupancy, resident permissions were to inspect the interior of the property. Notices of violations of both the Cupertino Building Code and the California Residential Code were sent in late July and in August. The code violation had not yet been resolved…"
The office also said there’s a five-stop code enforcement process, starting with the complaint being received and ending with the final processing.
The Santa Clara County coroner will release the identification of the dead man once his family is notified.