Azusa Fire Victims Were Shot; Ammunition Found at Home

Three people found dead in an Azusa house fire Thursday all had gunshot. Azusa police said they also found several incendiary devices.

A man and two women found dead at the scene of a house fire in Azusa had been shot, and police today said there were "no outstanding suspects'' being sought in connection with what is being characterized as a "crime.''

Los Angeles County firefighters were called to the burning home at 525 N. Dalton Ave. around 2:45 p.m. Thursday, and authorities found the bodies, along with "numerous firearms, including a variety of rifles and handguns,'' said Azusa police Lt. Mike Bertelsen.

"There were also thousands of rounds of ammunition and several incendiary devices located,'' Bertelsen said.

The dead people were in their 50s, the coroner's office reported. "They were found to have gunshot wounds to their upper body,'' Bertelsen said.

Bertelsen said the coroner's office will have to determine the identities of the victims and the cause of death.

"No other information related to the deceased is available at this time,'' Bertelsen said. "There are no outstanding suspects in this crime, and it is actively being investigated.''

Two dogs and two cats were found dead at the fire scene, Bertelsen said.

Earlier, Bertelsen described what happened when the fire was discovered.

"Witnesses were reporting that a large plume of smoke was coming from the garage area of the property,'' Bertelsen said. "On arrival, officers saw the garage and house were fully engulfed by fire. There was also the sound of ammunition `burning off' as the property burned.''

Firefighters found the bodies inside the house after extinguishing the blaze, Bertelsen said.

Sheriff's arson investigators were called to assist Azusa police detectives in the investigation. Representatives of the Azusa Code Enforcement Division, Azusa Light and Water Division and the Gas Company also were summoned.

"A large amount of ammunition was located inside the house,'' along with 12 rifles, 10 handguns and several "suspicious incendiary devices,'' said Azusa police Sgt. Xavier Torres. Investigators were trying to determine if the arsenal was legally possessed and how the fire started.

Anyone with information on the case was urged to call police.


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