Sheriff: Killer set house on fire with victim inside
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EUGENE, Ore. - A man found dead in a house fire Tuesday was murdered, and the killer intentionally set the house ablaze, investigators said.
The dead man has been identified as Moji Silas Tholl, 51, of Eugene.
Deputies arrested Robert Charles Baimbridge, 41, of Springfield on charges of murder and arson.
Tholl and Baimbridge are acquaintances, the sheriff's office said.
Details related to the motive and means are not being released at this time, the sheriff's office said.
The investigation began as a fire-related death but quickly turned to a suspicious death and suspected arson investigation, the sheriff's office said.
Neighbors reported seeing flames shooting out of the upper windows of the home.
Investigators cordoned off the scene in crime tape and worked through the night at the scene gathering evidence.
Witnesses saw flames, heard screams
"I heard a lady screaming," neighbor Sean Curran said. "So I came running around the corner, and there was smoke coming out of the house."
Curran said he joined other passersby in running around the house, knocking on the walls, in an attempt to alert anyone still inside.
He said he saw windows broken out and could hear water running in the basement. One of the walls of the house was visibly charred and hot to the touch, he said.
"You kind of act on instict and you don't know how you're going to help and what to do," Curran said. "At the same time you know it's dangerous and you can't run in the house. It's just not good news."
Neighbor Jackie Harmon said the people who lived in the home kept to themselves.
"I know of a man and woman that were always around, and at least three kids," Harmon told KVAL News. "But there were always others in and out. We really don't know who exactly lived there."
Harmon said she often heard loud fighting coming from the home.
"The couple that lived upstairs tended to fight kind of loud," she said.