The Sacramento County Sheriff's Department named a "person of interest" in connection with the Monday fire in southeastern Sacramento County that left a father and son dead.
Police are seeking Abraham Felmley, 32, who authorities said was seen driving a pickup truck that was discovered missing from the French Road home where the fire occurred.
The occupants of the house were Chesley Felmley, 84, and his son Dennis Porter Felmley, 64, said Daniel Felmley, another of Chesley's sons.
Chesley Felmley was a former construction superintendent and worked for the Buzz Oates Group of Companies, Daniel Felmley said. After working as a trucker and carpenter, he supervised construction on large buildings, such as Safeway grocery stores. His son Dennis was a disabled Vietnam veteran.
The familial relationship between Abraham Felmley and the people living at the house was not clear Monday night.
Sheriff's spokesman Sgt. Jason Ramos said a man matching Abraham Felmley's description carjacked a Modesto fisherman at gunpoint about 3 p.m. Monday, then smashed the man's cellphone. The suspect may be driving the fisherman's green 1992 Toyota Camry, Ramos said, adding that Abraham Felmley is a parolee.
Earlier in the day, Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District crews were dispatched to the house in the 7300 block of French Road. When they arrived, the single-story home was ablaze and flames were visible from windows and doors.
Firefighters immediately began searching the house for occupants, said fire district Capt. Chris Quinn.
"Smoke conditions were acrid and thick," Quinn said. "Visibility was poor."
While crews were fighting the fire, a power line fell across one of the fire engines, which happens at house fires often, Quinn said.
"At times they melt away and drop to the ground," he said.
Firefighters searched the residence twice, but were unable to rescue the two occupants, Quinn said. The fire was contained within about 30 minutes.
"It was a valiant effort at great personal risk," Quinn said. "It was a heavy, developed fire. During the search of the residence, unfortunately, we found two people who perished."
Chesley Felmley owned the house, a 1,400-square-foot residence with three bedrooms.
The cause of the fire has not been determined yet.
A house pet, a brown and white dog, suffered burnt paws during the fire, Quinn said. The dog is otherwise OK and was turned over to animal control.
Call The Bee's Benjamin Mullin, (916) 321-1034. Bee researcher Pete Basofin and reporters Bill Lindelof and Phillip Reese contributed to this report.