Dozens of investigators are swarming the scene of an early morning fire that tore through a Murrieta apartment complex in the 42000 block of Hancock Avenue.
Firefighters knocked the early morning blaze down quickly as investigators began combing the scene.
According to witnesses, a Murrieta Police Department mobile command unit has been set up and at least one Los Angeles media outlet is camped out at the complex waiting for information.
A resident who lives in the same building at the Waterstone Apartments where the fire broke out said he heard tires squealing in the parking lot at about 6:30 a.m.
“I also heard glass breaking and was awakened by a neighbor pounding on my door yelling at me to evacuate,” Brandon O’Brien, 28, explained.
“I went outside and the flames were so big, there was no way to help anyone inside,” he said.
O’Brien added he has lived at the complex for eight months but did not know the occupants of the burned out apartment.
Another witness who was walking her dogs at about 6:30 a.m., said she saw flames erupt ferociously from the ground floor apartment.
“There was nothing anyone could do, the flames were too intense,” nearby resident Tina Patten told SWRNN.
Patten said she did not know the occupants but that a woman and a man believed to be her boyfriend could be heard arguing on other occasions.
She added that the woman’s car appeared to be missing.
Patten said that the woman’s four-year-old son played outside in the parking lot this morning and did not appear to be injured.
Preliminary investigations have revealed an unidentified person was found dead inside of the apartment, according to a Murrieta Police Department press release.
Murrieta Police investigators along with investigators from Murrieta Fire are on scene working this case as a suspicious death, Lt. Tony Conrad stated.
The ongoing investigation is expected to continue throughout the day.
Murrieta Fire Chief Matt Shobert said the cause of the fire is under investigation.
This is a developing story. Stay with SWRNN for more information on this fire and ensuing investigation as it comes available.
Stephanie D. Schulte is a writer/photographer with SWRNN. She can be reached at email@example.com.
*Kerri S. Mabee and Joe Fanaselle contributed to this report.