A news photographer approached a house destroyed by fire yesterday. Relatives of a man who died in the fire believe he was killed during a theft.

Family fears worst
in fire death

Relatives think a man getting off
of drugs died in his Maui home

By Gary T. Kubota

WAILUKU >> Family members fear a Haiku, Maui, man may be the person burned beyond recognition in his home during a fire yesterday morning.

They also said Lance Carrillo, 34, may have been killed during a theft.

Carrillo occupied the house at 280 S. Holokai Road in Haiku, and his truck was taken from the house but has been recovered, his fiancee, Tammy Manabe, said.

An autopsy is scheduled this week to determine the identity and the cause of death, said police Detective Brian Kaya.

Police plan to seek Carrillo's dental records to help in the identification of the body.

Manabe said Carrillo was 34 and had been involved with drugs and was getting out. "He was just changing his life around," she said. "He had a good heart."

Carrillo's stepfather, Charles Maalea, who lived a few houses down the road, said his stepson had served time in prison but had been out for a few years.

He said Carrillo was working as a painter for a contractor and was living in the house.

Maalea said he last saw Carrillo on Saturday evening when he spoke to a man on the telephone.

Maalea said the man sounded angry, and Carrillo responded, "Bring your knife, gun, whatever -- you know where I stay."

Maalea said Carrillo left soon after the conversation and told his mother: "No worry, Mom. That's my business."

Maalea said he awoke early yesterday morning when he heard his wife screaming about the house burning.

"I got up. Everything was in flames," he said. "I couldn't do nothing about it."

Authorities said the body was found in a bedroom.

Assistant Fire Chief Gordon Cordeiro said that when firefighters arrived at the home, they found the house engulfed in flames with the walls and roof collapsed.

The residence, built in 1954, was about 1,000 square feet in size, he said.

"It appeared that only one person lived in that house," he said.

Cordeiro said the estimated damage to the contents and structure of the house was $130,000.

The fire was extinguished an hour and 41 minutes after the alarm at 12:10 yesterday morning, he said.

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