Fatal Washington DC Fire Is Not Work Of Serial Arsonist

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A fire early Wednesday may have been set in an effort to destroy murder evidence, authorities said.

The remains of an adult male were found inside the Northeast Washington home once the two alarm blaze was extinguished.

``He had suffered extensive burns,'' said Alan Etter, spokesman for the District of Columbia Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department.

Firefighters were called to the two-story wood frame home around 3 a.m. Although they were able to quickly extinguish the blaze, they found the badly burned body inside. Investigators found indications that the man may have been stabbed repeatedly, but the exact cause of death will be determined by the D.C. Medical Examiner's Office.

The region's Arson Task Force was initially called out. But they turned the case back to local investigators once it was determined to be significantly different from some 40 other cases believed to be the work of a serial arsonist.

``This fire did not fit the pattern of the serial cases,'' Etter said. Most of those fires have involved a flammable liquid spread on the exterior siding of the homes. A dog trained to detect arson evidence found residue of a flammable liquid which had been spread inside the home near the corner where the fire began.