70-year-old dies in suspicious San Mateo 3-alarm house fire

A 70-year-old woman died in a suspicious three-alarm fire early this morning in San Mateo, fire officials said.

Firefighters responded at 4:39 a.m. in the 1500 block of Oak Street after newspaper carrier reported a fire. The first firefighters to arrive found smoke coming from the eves of the home, according to fire officials. Seconds later, flames and smoke were coming from the home’s attic and roof.

Firefighters worked to extinguish the fire as other firefighters searched the home for residents. A crew found a woman who did not have a pulse and was not breathing. The crew took the woman outside and started CPR. But the woman died.

Fire officials said in 2011 police allegedly exchanged gunfire with a resident of the home. On Feb. 28, 2011, officers responded to the Borel Square Shopping Center because a person called to say someone allegedly had a gun, police said.

Witnesses said told police that the person with the gun appeared to be emotionally disturbed and was waving a gun at employees of a pharmacy. Robert Caron fired at officers when they walked toward him. Then Caron fled to the backyard of his home where he exchanged shots with police. San Mateo police Capt. Dave Norris said Caron died in the exchange.

Police have taken over the investigation into the fire.

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