Deadly Seal Beach Fire Ruled Arson

A fire that killed a 67-year-old man and his dog was deliberately set, Seal Beach police said Monday.

The blaze that broke out just after midnight Saturday killed John Donnelly and his mixed-breed pet, according to Seal Beach police Sgt. Phil Gonshak.

A police dog found evidence of an accelerant outside the two-story duplex in the 200 block of 17th Street, prompting investigators to consider it an arson fire, Gonshak said.

Police were looking for neighbors to provide surveillance video that might help investigators, Gonshak said.

He said detectives are "encouraging anyone who knew of any issues" Donnelly may have had with anyone else to call investigators, who are awaiting autopsy results to determine the cause of death. Donnelly lived alone, the sergeant said.

Anyone with information was asked to call Detective Pete Krok at (562) 799-4100, ext. 1110.

The fire caused an estimated $500,000 in structural damage and about $20,000 in damage to contents, said Orange County Fire Authority Capt. Steve Concialdi.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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