Sacto 9-1-1
July 22, 2013
UPDATE: Person of interest named in house fire that left 2 dead

By Ben Mullin

The Sacramento Sheriff's Department has named a person of interest in connection with a fire in southeastern Sacramento County that left a father and son dead on Monday.

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.

The familial relationship between Abraham Felmley and the rest of the family was not clear Monday night.

A man matching Abraham Felmley's description carjacked a Modesto fisherman at gunpoint at about 3 p.m. Monday, then smashed the man's cellphone, police said. The suspect may be driving the fisherman's green 1992 Toyota Camry, said Jason Ramos, a spokesman for the Sacramento Sheriff's Department.

Felmley is a parolee, Ramos said.

Earlier in the day, Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District crews were dispatched to the house on 7300 block of French Road. When they arrived, the single-story home was ablaze and flames were visible from windows and doors.

Arriving a few minutes after the blaze was reported, 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.

Bee researcher Pete Basofin and reporters Bill Lindelof and Phillip Reese contributed to this report.

Video by Hector Amezcua /

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