The East Oakland apartment complex where a man was found dead in a suspicious fire early this morning was also the site of a Feb. 7 home invasion robbery where an elderly woman was found dead, a police spokeswoman said.
Fire crews were dispatched to reports of a fire in the 1800 block of 34th Avenue around 5 a.m., according to Oakland fire Battalion Chief James Bowron.
Crews arriving on scene realized the blaze was mainly burning the outside of an apartment building. Firefighters then discovered a badly burned body in an alleyway in between two apartment buildings, Bowron said.
Crews quickly extinguished the blaze and kept it from spreading to a neighboring building, he said.
An arson investigator and Oakland police were called to the scene around 5:10 a.m., according to police.
Oakland police detectives are investigating whether this morning’s incident was a homicide, and the coroner’s office is working to determine the victim’s identity as well as the circumstances surrounding the death, according to Oakland police spokeswoman Johnna Watson.
Watson said the person was so badly burned that it was difficult to identify their gender. However the victim was eventually determined to be a male adult, according to Oakland police Officer J. Moore.
Fire and police officials are working together to determine what caused the fatal blaze, but Bowron said the fire is considered suspicious.
The deadly fire happened at the same apartment complex where 77-year-old Susan Fong was found dead after a home invasion robbery early last month, according to Watson.
Police have not been able to confirm whether the two incidents are connected, Watson said.