UPDATE (Mon., July 21) – Neighbors and other affiliates are reporting that it was Mr. and Mrs. Hong who perished in the house fire Fri., July 18. The couple, in their mid-to-late 70s, apparently did not have any children and authorities are trying to locate relatives. The Medical Examiner has not officially released the names of the deceased at this time pending notification to kin.
RAINBOW – The bodies of two people were found inside a home for sale that caught fire early Friday, July 18 in Rainbow near the San Diego-Riverside county line.
The fire at 1966 Rice Canyon Road was reported around 12:30 a.m., and fire crews had it knocked down in about 30 to 40 minutes, according to North County Fire Protection District spokesman John Buchanan. The residence on the 1.6-acre property contained several greenhouses and also served as a business called Hong’s Flower Nursery, he said.
Firefighters conducting a preliminary search found one of the bodies, and the other was found in the same room during a subsequent sweep of the burned home, Buchanan said.
Buchanan said the county Medical Examiner’s Office would determine the age and gender of the two people found dead, along with the causes of death.
It was unclear if the two deaths were accidental, and sheriff’s homicide detectives were dispatched to investigate, sheriff’s Lt. Herb Taft.
The Sheriff’s Bomb-Arson Unit was working to determine the cause of the fire, as was standard protocol in fires involving injury or death, Buchanan said.
Buchanan said the home’s roof and a wall were unstable following the fire and it might end up being deemed a total loss.
Two bodies found in suspicious house fire on Rice Canyon Road in Rainbow
Firefighters found two bodies after responding to and fighting a house fire in Rainbow in the early morning hours (today, Fri., July 18).
According to North County Fire public information officer John Buchanan, firefighters with the agency received a call about 12:33 a.m. this morning regarding a house fire in the 1900 block of Rice Canyon Road in Rainbow.
“When our guys got there, the house was pretty involved with fire,” said Buchanan. “The firefighters began to knock down the fire and found one body, then shortly after, found a second one.”
Buchanan said the house was approximately 1,800 square feet.
He went on to explain that when someone is found injured or dead in a structure, protocol is to call the Sheriff’s Dept. Bomb/Arson unit in to assist with the investigation.
“At this point, now the Sheriff’s Homicide Unit has been called in,” said Buchanan.
The identities of the victims have not yet been released by authorities.
According to Homicide Lt. Glenn Giannantonio, the cause and manner of death, as well as the identity of the victims, will be determined by the Medical Examiner’s Office.
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the Homicide Detail at (858) 974-2321/after hours at (858) 565-5200. You can remain anonymous and be eligible for up to a $1,000 reward for information leading to an arrest. Call Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477.