Name of elderly man found dead in burning West Covina home released

WEST COVINA — Authorities Sunday released the name of an 82-year-old West Covina man found dead inside his burning home earlier this week.
Ralph Simonian was pronounced dead at the scene of Thursday’s fire, reported just after 11 a.m. in the 900 block of Holiday Drive, Los Angeles County Department of Coroner Investigator Daniel Machian said.
An autopsy was pending to determine his cause of death, which Lt. Dave Dolson of the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau described as, “suspicious.”
Investigators declined to specify what they found at the scene of the charred home that roused their suspicions.
Firefighters responded to the home after a fire alarm sounded and a passer-by called 9-1-1 at roughly the same time, officials said.
The house was well-involved with flames when they arrived and took about half an hour to extinguish, West Covina Fire Department Capt. Scott Gilmore said.
After forcing their way into the home, firefighters found Simonian unconscious in a room toward the rear of the house, Dolson said. They moved him to the home’s backyard, where he was pronounced dead.
The cause of the fire was under investigation.
Family members could not be reached for comment Sunday.

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