UPLAND (CBS) — Authorities Wednesday arrested a 20-year-old man in connection with a deadly house fire in Upland.
Christopher Moreno is being held on arson and murder charges in the death of his 60-year-old grandmother who was visiting her grandsons from Nevada.
Police say Moreno got into an argument with his grandmother, Linda Moreno, beat her to death with an object and then set the house on fire at the intersection of Palm Avenue and West Alpine Tuesday night. The woman was pulled from the fire by Moreno’s brothers, officials said.
“When my first unit arrived on scene, they found a subject on the ground — a victim — and a fully involved structure fire right here on Palm Avenue,” Batt. Chief Joel Cascadden told CBS2.
Linda Moreno was transported to a local hospital where she died around 10:15 p.m. Tuesday.
Neighbors said there had been a long-standing dispute in the family and said police were called to the home on more than one occasion.
Several neighbors told CBS2’s Edward Lawrence that Moreno, and his two brothers, have drug problems and are also homeless.
Neighbor Michael Hall told Lawrence, “Anywhere the brothers can find to lay their heads, they will.”
The homeowner allowed the brothers to sometimes rent the property.
Hall and a friend walked by the home when he said he witnessed Moreno wearing a bloody shirt inside the home. “Homeboy turned around with like the devil face and with blood all over his shirt and everything. He said ‘Get in here. I’m about to light her on fire.’ I’m going to light the house on fire.'”
Hall and his friend reportedly ran to tell the other Moreno brothers what was happening. By the time they returned the house was ablaze.
Moreno is being held in a detention center in Rancho Cucamonga.