07/16/12 — Early morning fire claims one Sunday

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Early morning fire claims one Sunday

By John Joyce
Published in News on July 16, 2012 1:46 PM

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An early Sunday morning fire on Brenn Loop Road in the Mar-Mac community claimed the life of Gabriel Velasquez. Firefighters from Mar-Mac, Thoroughfare and Arrington volunteer departments responded to the fire, which destroyed a mobile home and vehicle. Authorities are treating the fire as suspicious.

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Wayne County Sheriff's Office arson investigator Bob Golimowski looks through the window of a burned up truck Sunday outside a mobile home in which a man was killed in an early morning fire.

A man was killed early Sunday in a house fire that has been ruled suspicious.

Gabriel Velasquez, age unknown, of 128 Brenn Loop Road was found dead inside his single-wide mobile home as firefighters from Mar Mac, Arrington and Thoroughfare fire departments battled the blaze, which consumed the victim's vehicle and home. Another man suspected of occupying the residence with Velasquez was initially thought to have also been inside the house at the time of the fire, but was later determined to have been away from the home.

A neighbor reported seeing the two men and others having a party in their front yard Saturday night. At about 5 the next morning, she noticed flames coming from the house and called 911.

Three volunteer fire departments responded.

Mar-Mac Volunteer Fire Department Assistant Chief Brad Cushing said responders were notified there might be up to two victims inside the home.

"The fire was burning so fast and so hard, we could not get in there," Cushing said. "As we knocked the fire down and were able to get in there, we found the first victim."

Velasquez's body was discovered in the front hallway. Cushing said investigators from the Wayne County Sheriff's Office later confirmed Velasquez was alone. The other man left sometime between the end of the party and the start of the fire.

It was not clear this morning whether the second occupant is a suspect in the fire, although the blaze has been ruled suspicious.

Agents with the SBI were called in to assist in the investigation.