IMPERIAL, Calif. - One person is dead following a house fire in Imperial. The Imperial County Fire Department said it received an early morning call Tuesday at 5:07 a.m. of a structure fire at 312 Chisholm Trail in Imperial.
Firefighters said this was a single family home that had one person in the home at the time of the fire. Officials say that person died in the fire. The identity of the person has not been disclosed. Next of kin have been notified.
“This incident is very unfortunate and our thoughts go out to all of those impacted by this tragic event,” stated Tony Rouhotas, Chief, Imperial County Fire.
The cause of the fire is currently under investigation by the Imperial County Fire Department, Imperial Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF).
We'll have the latest details on our website and also in our newscasts.
Multiple agencies are confirming that the sole occupant who died in the fire died as a result of foul play.
Our newsroom received confirmation from the City of Imperial Wednesday morning that the incident is being ruled a homicide and the investigation is ongoing.
The Imperial Police Department is handling the investigation but has not been available for comment. However, we were able to speak to neighbors earlier this morning.
“Yesterday we were told to evacuate about five in the morning, by the police and luckily the fire department came pretty quick and they extinguished the flames and tragically our next door neighbor perished in the fire, which we are very sad about,” said Toby Weber, Imperial resident.
We also spoke to neighbors off camera that were able to confirm that victim was female. Authorities are not releasing her identity as next of kin still needs to be notified.
Although little information is being given, what we can tell you is that the victim's vehicle was stolen and seen leaving Chisholm Trail.
The car is a black 4-door 2002 Nissan Altima with a California license plate that reads, 7-u-k-d-8-7-7.
“Thank god they were able to keep it from spreading to our house, but it was just a very scary situation,” added Weber.
If you have any information regarding this incident you are asked to call The Imperial Police Department.