2nd Body Found Inside Torched Home

A man called 911 saying he would kill his wife, himself and burn their home

Investigators found a second body Sunday inside the charred remains of a Santee home after a man threatened to kill his wife, himself and burn his house down. He told his neighbors they lost their jobs and were about to lose their home.

The Medical Examiner arrived at the home in the 8500 block of Clifford Heights Road Sunday afternoon to collect the second unidentified body.

At around 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, authorities got a call from a man who said he lived in the home.

"He said he was going to kill his wife, kill himself and burn his house down," said Lt. Dennis Brugos from the sheriff's department homicide unit.

When officers arrived, the house was engulfed by flames.

"The smoke was just blowing out of the house," said Santee interim Fire Chief Richard Matticks. "This is the first time in 31 years that I've been in the fire service that we've ever had an incident like this."

When firefighters first arrived, the flames were spreading coming out of the windows and doors, but even so, firefighters were instructed to stay back, because, apparently, there was ammunition inside the home.

Lindsay Collins was driving by when she heard one of several explosions.

"I was driving by, and the garage door was half-open, and I heard an explosion, and it was like this red-orange glow," Collins said. "I pulled over to get out of my car and his neighbors came and said, 'Don't go anywhere near there -- he's crazy. They just want you to stay inside because the ammunition was going off'."

Ruth Taloza lives across the street from the suspect's home. She said she walked over to the house earlier on Saturday to thank him. She said he had just given an air-compressor to her children.

"When I walked over there, I asked him if he was moving," Taloza said. "Why would he be giving these things out if he wasn't? He told me he had to move because he had asked for a loan modification six times and was denied every single time. He told me he and his wife had just lost their jobs."

Once the flames were put out by firefighters, the bomb arson team was able to walk inside. One body was found in the rubble. Detectives were scheduled to resume the investigation on Sunday at 8 a.m.

The names of the couple have not yet been made public.

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