El Cajon Police cruiser
An El Cajon Police cruiser. Photo by Chris Stone

An unidentified person died in an El Cajon house fire sparked Friday by someone who threw Molotov cocktail-type incendiary devices at deputies as they were trying to evict a resident.

The events that led to the deadly blaze began shortly before noon, when court services personnel with the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department tried to serve an eviction notice on a man in his 60s who lived with his girlfriend in the house in the 1200 block of Redwood Avenue, according to the El Cajon Police Department.

Getting no answer from anyone inside, the deputies tried to enter, finding the front door barricaded, ECPD Lt. Randy Soulard said.

“At that time, several incendiary devices with what appeared to be a flammable liquid (in them) were thrown in the direction of the deputies, immediately engulfing the structure in flames,” Soulard said. “As the structure continued to burn, (a woman) believed to be the suspect’s girlfriend escaped the building through a window and was taken to safety.”

“The woman, who suffered moderate burns, confirmed (that the man) was still inside the residence,” Soulard added.

The woman, also in her 60s, was hospitalized for treatment of non-life-threatening burn injuries.

After firefighters extinguished the blaze, police searched the gutted home and found a charred body in what had been a bathroom.

“The identity of that person has not been determined at this time, pending a forensic examination,” Soulard said. “Other than the male (resident), no other persons were believed to (have been) inside the residence when it was burned.”

Firefighting personnel deemed the home a complete loss, Soulard said.

City News Service contributed to this article.