MANORVILLE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — A deadly fire on Long Island is shrouded in mystery, after a bizarre message was spotted printed on the home’s rooftop.
As CBS 2’s Sean Hennessey reported, officials said the owner of the house was facing eviction because of unpaid taxes.
The fire broke out in Manorville around 9:30 a.m. Wednesday. Suffolk County police said the owner, Charles Woolsey, 68, was found outside and unconscious, while an unidentified woman, believed to be his wife, was found dead on the second floor. The family dog also died.
The house was on 15-acre piece of land, WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall reported.
Chopper 2 HD was over the Manorville home earlier Wednesday. A partial message on the roof reading, “We won’t submit to your…” in large block letters was visible, but the rest of the message was burned.
Homicide and arson investigators were at the scene.
Meanwhile, neighbors called Woolsey a loner.
“He just kind of isolated himself, and I’ve heard he’s very angry at everybody; didn’t want anybody near his property,” said neighbor Jeanie Montemarano.
Another neighbor reported someone having a terrifying encounter with Woolsey.
“About four years back, my neighbor was actually walking in the woods with a big fur jacket, and he shot at him, and after that we never came back again in the woods. We said, ‘Let’s just get away from him,’” added neighbor Samantha Fehr. “We used to call him the crazy farmer. He was scary.”
Woolsey was taken to an area hospital for smoke inhalation, and was not in custody Wednesday. Authorities said it was too early to determine whether arson was to blame for the fire.
Woolsey had been scheduled to appear in court Wednesday. Authorities said he owed nearly $277,000 in property taxes since 2005.
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