SANTA ANA (CBSLA) — Police say two people were found dead under suspicious circumstances after a house fire amid windy conditions late Tuesday morning.
Orange County Fire Authority units responded to the flames around 10:30 a.m. on the second floor of the home at 2314 Manly Ave. Additional firefighters were called over concerns high winds might spread the flames.
Santa Ana police confirmed two people and one cat at the home were killed, but did not specify a cause of death. A dog was also reportedly injured in the fire.
Santa Ana police later confirmed arson investigators considered the circumstances surrounding the fire and two deaths to be suspicious, and that detectives were on scene.
Aerial footage of the fire’s aftermath showed significant damage to the rear of the home.
The owner of the house was Charlene Nguyen — who they say had been abused by her husband, identified as 40-year-old Ahmad Allasad.
Nguyen’s brother Scott talked about his brother-in-law to CBSLA.
“He said if we call the cops, he would come back and kill everyone and burn down the house,” said Scott.
Scott says he went to the house on Saturday to deal with some plumbing issues.
He was surprised when he walked inside.
“I saw my sister. Her face bruised. So I knew that he hit her,” said Scott.
Police confirm Allasad was arrested for domestic violence on Saturday but he bailed out the next day.
He was supposed to stay away from his wife because of a court issued emergency protective order.
Relatives say they only found out about the couple’s marriage a few weeks ago.
“He was originally a renter here. They have recently been married,” said Santa Ana Police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna.
Relatives say Allasad started renting a room at the house about a year-and-a-half ago, which became an intimate relationship.
A neighbor who’s known Nguyen for 30 years says she was always afraid of Allasad.
“I know he bad guy. No good. But I ask her [to] get away. Let him move out. No good,” said the neighbor.
At this point investigators say the cause of the fire and what led to the two deaths will take time to figure out.
But relatives say they wished Nguyen had listened to their pleas.
“We asked her come to our house. Live with us. But she refused,” said Scott.