2 Bodies Found in House Fire

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Two bodies were discovered as firefighters battled a house fire in the North County community of Rainbow on July 18, 2014. NBC 7's Elena Gomez reports.

    Two bodies were discovered as firefighters battled a house fire Friday in the North County community of Rainbow, and investigators are now looking into the possibility of foul play.

    The fire started around 1:30 a.m. inside the home in the 1900 block of Rice Canyon Road.

    When crews arrived, fire was coming from the back of the home and engulfing half of the structure.

    The house, which is part of a fully operational nursery on almost two acres of land, is currently up for sale.

    Deputies with the San Diego County Sheriff's Department have not released identity or gender on the fire victims, but county property records list husband and wife Hyon Hong, 78, and Chang Hay Hong, 76, as the owners. 

    Their realtor Joe Mears told NBC 7 the couple immigrated to the U.S. from South Korea in the mid-80s, and once they sold their home, they planned to move back to be near friends. 

    Detectives called Mears around 5 a.m. Friday to tell him the sad news. 

    "I said, 'They're not dead?' He said, 'Yes,' and then he alluded to the fact that -- and he could not go into details; I respect that -- but they did have bomb and arson here, and I kind of got that there may be a reason for malice, some kind of homicide, which I hope is not true," said Mears. 

    Neighbors of the couple said if it was the Hongs who died, it would be a huge loss for the community.

    "They were so sweet. They were just caring people," said neighbor Vanessa Torres.

    "It's a shame to lose a neighbor. It's tough," echoed neighbor Buddy Santamaria.

    Investigators with the department's Bomb and Arson Team were on site to try to figure out the cause of fire.

    They are offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to an arrest. Anyone with information about the fire should call the homicide detail at 858-974-2321 or if it's after hours, call 858-565-5200.