Fire investigators were unable to determine the cause of a large blaze that destroyed a Federal Way home Monday, less than two weeks after authorities said a woman shot her two roommates there, killing one.
The King County Sheriff’s Office fire investigators determined the blaze started in the kitchen, but a detection dog with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives was unable to find any accelerants at the house, sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. Ryan Abbott said.
The investigation will remain open, but the Sheriff’s Office said it’s difficult to get information for large fires with extensive damage without witnesses. Investigators don’t believe the fire is linked to a homicide at the house earlier this month, which the Federal Way Police Department is investigating.
“We’re strictly investigating the fire,” Abbott said. “As far as the investigation goes, at this time, there is no reason for us to believe that it’s related.”
Some neighbors told police they had seen people in and out of the house in the past couple of weeks since the homicide, but the Sheriff’s Office has not determined whether that is related to the fire, Abbott said. No injuries from the fire have been reported.
Police called to the home Dec. 19 found two sisters shot, one fatally. Their 85-year-old roommate, Beverly Lorraine Jenne, was on a bed with an electrical cord around her neck, according to Federal Way Police.
The homeowner told police Jenne had lived in the house in the 2000 block of Southwest 306th Lane since 1979, but it went into foreclosure in March and was sold at a public auction in November. The owner said he was renovating and had entered into a lease-to-own agreement with the sisters, who decided to allow Jenne to live there until she found another home.
Police said they found a note in Jenne’s car saying she was forced to kill Janet Oyuga, 37, because “Janet is not a very nice person” and “I think she was getting ready to [e]vict me and I’m 85 and no place to go.”
Jenne was charged last week with first-degree murder and first-degree assault. She remains in the King County Jail in lieu of $1 million bail.
The house was destroyed in the fire and will need to be torn down, Abbott said.