Identity of Woman Found Inside Burned Encinitas Home at Center of Drug Investigations ID'd

Officials say the home was involved in three drug-related investigations in the last two years

A woman found dead inside a home well known to narcotics investigators after a house fire Thursday has been identified by the San Diego County Medical Examiner’s office.

Shelby Ann Black, 25, died at the home on Rancho Encinitas Drive and Camino Ricardo as a result of third and fourth degree thermal burns and inhalation of products on combustion when it caught fire just before 4 a.m.

Officials say they found the body of the woman in a bedroom on the second floor. A mastiff identified as Max was also found dead.

Firefighters say the fire was difficult to attack because the home had many tough-to-reach places.

Several rooms are not up to code and have been modified to hide things, Sheriff's Lt. Mark Moreno said. Crews were able to get a handle on it within 40-50 minutes. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

During the house fire, officials found one other man who later passed out. Neighbor Derek Gietzen told NBC 7 he watched as a man climbed out of a second-story window as flames roared through both floors. The man was bleeding from cuts and had no shirt or shoes on — just shorts.

"He kind of wandered back a little and sat down, and we're yelling at him to get off the roof, get off the roof," said Gietzen. "And we're saying, 'Is there anyone else inside the house?'"

The man laid down on the edge of the roof and appeared to pass out, so Gietzen and another neighbor stacked a barrel on a table in an effort to reach him — to no avail. They could not get high enough.

"We were standing there panicked because I'm there with my 17-year-old son and thought this guy is going to burn to death in front of us," said Gietzen.

The next set of windows blew out, forcing the onlookers back.

Finally, the 40-year-old man rolled off the roof and landed on the platform the good Samaritans had built. The man had severe burns on his back from the hot roof tiles, according to Gietzen.

He was soon taken to UCSD Medical Center, but not before he revealed there was one other person inside. That person was later identified as Black. 

Lt. Moreno said deputies have been out to the home seven times this year in connection with three drug-related investigations.

Most recently, law enforcement officers served two warrants on July 14 and took the homeowner and a second person into custody.

The homeowner, described as a woman in her 40s, has been arrested several times, officials said. Her cases are either pending or have been adjudicated, according to Lt. Moreno.

On Dec. 23, 2014, multiple agencies converged on the house to serve a search warrant that led to six arrests, including that of the homeowner. All were for outstanding warrants or drug offenses.

If you know anything about the fire or the home, call the sheriff's department at (858) 565-5200.

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