Friday, March 26, 2004

Death in fire
deemed suicide

The home blaze that killed
a man was set deliberately,
fire investigators say

The city medical examiner has classified the death of a 76-year-old man from burns in a Pearl City fire Wednesday as a suicide.

The Medical Examiner's Office has yet to identify the body, but relatives have said the man is Edward Lyons Keliinoi, of Pacific Palisades.

"We were all shocked," said Keliinoi's oldest child, Marie Cabanting, adding that her father did not show any signs of depression.

"He always looked good. He was always happy," she said.

The home at 2373 Anini Place was engulfed in flames when firefighters responded to the blaze at 8:50 a.m.

Firefighters extinguished the fire at 9:49 a.m.

Investigators determined that the fire was deliberately set, said fire Capt. Emmit Kane.

Based on the burning and charring patterns found at the home, investigators determined a flammable liquid-type fire with multiple points that included the front room, hallway and rear bedroom destroyed the house.

Kane said Keliinoi's wife, Madeline, said she saw her husband carrying two containers used to carry flammable liquid just before the fire occurred.

Keliinoi's body was found in the left rear bedroom of the home, and a plastic container was found in the right rear room, Kane said.

Investigators did not find the second container.

Keliinoi, a retired city supervisor, was the sole caregiver for his wife, who has Parkinson's disease and suffered a stroke four years ago.

Madeline was outside near the kitchen door when an explosion from the vapors occurred. Their son, 45-year-old Edward Jr., was away at work.

Cabanting said a neighbor called out to Keliinoi when the fire occurred but that he did not answer.

Relatives are taking care of Madeline.

Edward and Madeline Ke- liinoi were married for 51 years and had lived in their home since 1966. The couple raised six children and also cared for foster children.

"It's hard to accept," Cabanting said. "I don't know the reason why he did this."

Her brothers, especially Edward Jr., are having a difficult time accepting how their father died, she said.

"He didn't see any change," Cabanting said. "He was always a loving father.

"We're just overwhelmed. All we have to do now is try to accept it and move on."


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