Arson found to be cause of fire that killed 70-year-old woman

(Photo via Google Maps)

A fire late last month in San Mateo that killed a 70-year-old woman has been determined by fire inspectors and police to be arson, police said.

Early on Nov. 25, Sandra Caron died when a fire burned a home at 1506 Oak St. The fire was reported by a newspaper carrier at 4:40 a.m., according to police.

Firefighters arrived and saw smoke coming from the eaves of the home. Flames and smoke were also seen coming from the home’s attic and roof.

When firefighters searched the home for residents, they found Caron, who did not have a pulse and was not breathing. The crew took her outside and started CPR, but she died, police said.

Detectives are working to determine who started the fire. Police Sgt. Amanda Von Glahn said the fire was lit in several locations with a variety of substances.

Von Glahn said investigators believe the fire is an isolated incident and there is no threat to public safety.

The home has a history with police, who shot and killed Caron’s son Robert Caron in 2011.

On Feb. 28, 2011, officers responded to the nearby CVS store at 77 Bovet Road after someone reported a person acting aggressively toward customers, police said.

The man, later identified as 36-year-old Robert, ran from the area and officers later found him at the Oak Street home.

Police officers attempted to negotiate with Robert while he held a handgun in plain sight, police said.

Robert fired three rounds at officers, who were not injured, before running to the home’s backyard. An officer then fired one shot from an AR-15 rifle, striking Robert in the chest, according to police. He died at the scene.

Sandra later told police her son was diagnosed with schizophrenia. She said he had come home in a rage because a pharmacy wanted to charge him for his medication, police said.

Anyone with information about the fire is asked to call Detective Dave Manion at (650) 522-7654 or an anonymous tip line at (650) 522-7676. Anonymous tips can also be made to police online.

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

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