Fatal Escondido House Fire Was Arson: Police


An Escondido resident was arrested in North County on Wednesday, accused by Escondido police of beating a man in that city on Sunday before setting the home he was in on fire and leaving the victim inside.

The victim was found inside the home by firefighters and was taken for treatment to Palomar Medical Center, where he later died. His exact cause of death is still being determined.

Jose Trinidad Romero, 32, was driving his truck when he was stopped by police on Wednesday, who took him into custody.

Authorities have not yet released the identity of the victim. Investigators believe the two men knew each other but have not yet determined how or what the motive for the killing was, according to Escondido police.

Police and fire units were dispatched to the home in the 600 block of Waverly Place at 11:21 a.m., Lt. Kevin Toth of the Escondido Police Department said on Sunday. The first officer to arrive on the scene reported heavy smoke and flames coming from the residence, Toth said.

"Fire personnel entered the structure to extinguish the fire and discovered an unresponsive adult male subject inside the residence,'' the lieutenant said.

Romero is currently being held at the Vista Detention Facility. He faces murder and arson charges in connection to the case, according to Escondido police, who are asking the public to call them with any information they may have about the incident. Tips can also be called in anonymously to (760) 743-8477 or via the department's website.

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