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ATF assisting in investigation of deadly Seaside fire

seaside fire
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SEASIDE, Calif. (KION)- UPDATE: 12/6/2019 7:55 a.m. Flames tore through a Seaside home leaving an 84-year-old woman dead.

Other people were in the home at the time of the fire, but only the elderly homeowner was not able to escape.

Wednesday the mayor of Seaside confirmed with KION that woman is Marie Sweet, a long time Seaside resident. Mayor Ian Oglesby said Sweet was a close friend of his, and had been active in the community for more than four decades. Oglesby said she was a kind, loving, caring and community centered person.

Thursday, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and Explosives was called in to investigate the cause of the fire.

“They are experts at processing scenes involving fires such as cause of the fire the originating point of the fire,” Seaside Police Department Sgt. Jorge Enriquez said.

Since someone died in the fire it is being investigated as a crime, however Seaside PD said that does not necessarily mean they believe a crime was committed.

However, it was others who lived with Sweet in her home at the end of Harrow Court over the last year or so that aroused neighbors suspicions.

“There’s something that happened there that wasn’t just a regular fire situation, I’m not quite sure what was going on but some seedy people were hanging around,” neighbor Stacee Johnson said.

Multiple neighbors we spoke with say Sweet's grandson invited homeless people to stay around the house, and that drug use was prevalent at the home. Neighbors called the cops in the past for various reasons.

“We all kind of knew something was going to happen it was just a matter of time. We didn’t know it would be this, we just figured more people as she got older and maybe passed more people would move into the house. It would be people that wouldn’t be taking care of the home,” Johnson said.

“We need help from anybody that might have information to put the pieces together. Anybody that might have seen anything before the fire or anybody that witnessed the fire,” Enriquez said.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

The Seaside mayor said Ms. Sweet was going to be hosting the annual Senior Seaside Christmas event later in December that she MC'd every year.

UPDATE 12/5/2019 12:00 p.m. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and Explosives is at the scene of a fire that killed one person in Seaside Wednesday night.

The ATF is in the home on Harrow Court and assisting with the investigation.

The home was engulfed with flames, but the fire did not do any damage to nearby buildings. One person was found dead inside, but the cause of death has not been determined.

PREVIOUS STORY: One person is dead following a fire in Seaside.

Officials say on Wednesday night, Seaside Police and Fire Department personnel, as well as neighboring fire departments from Monterey, Presidio of Monterey and Marina, responded to Harrow Court in Seaside for a residential structure fire.

The home was engulfed in flames. The fire was extinguished with no damage to adjacent buildings, and one person was found deceased inside. The cause of death has not been determined. The scene is being processed and the investigation is ongoing.

Anybody with information about this incident is urged to contact the Seaside Police Department.

ORIGINAL STORY: A fire is burning at a home in Seaside this evening, sending smoke billowing into the air.

Seaside Fire and Police posted about the fire just after 7 p.m. this evening on Twitter, writing that multiple agencies are responding to the fire on Harrow Court.

Video from the scene shows flames burning through the roof of the home as firefighters head toward the residence.

This is a developing story and we will bring you more information as we get it. Check back here for updates.

Monterey County / Top Stories

Elisha Machado

Elisha Machado is a weekend anchor and multi-media journalist at KION News Channel 5/46.

Avery Johnson

Avery Johnson is the Digital Content Director at KION News Channel 5/46.

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