Police identify 83-year-old man found dead in burning home

Police believe fire was set intentionally
Posted at 10:12 AM, Jul 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-20 06:25:20-04

An 83-year-old man has been identified as the victim in a fire Monday night that Baltimore Police believe was set on purpose. 

The Baltimore City Fire Department responded to the 3300 block of The Alameda at around 8:30 p.m. after receiving reports of a house fire. When fire crews entered through the second floor window they found Charles Ervin dead on the bedroom floor.

Homicide detectives and arson investigators were called to the scene. Police said the fire appeared to have been set intentionally, and detectives observed visible trauma to Ervin's body.

"At this point, it's unclear whether or not he died from the trauma or he died as a result of the fire. However, our homicide detectives are investigating this matter," said Baltimore City Police Detective Donny Moses. 

RELATED: Elderly man dies in house fire in Northeast Baltimore

Baltimore Police along with fifty police academy recruits canvassed the area Tuesday morning, searching for information. They knocked on doors, spoke  with neighbors, and asked if anyone had seen anything out of the ordinary.

“Maybe they saw a vehicle pull away, maybe they saw people running away, that's what the trainees are looking for,” said Det. Moses.

Anything that can help investigators solve the mystery. Police have not identified any suspects. They're also asking for the public's help in figuring out who did this.

“He's lived the better part of his life, he deserves to be able to live in peace. He's somebody grandfather, he's someone father, uncle, whatever you have,” Moses said.

He was also someone's cousin. Natalie Gee, whose mother is Ervin's cousin, remembers him as a kind and hard-working man. She said he retired from Bethlehem Steel and it was just him  and his dog living in the home. The dog perished in the fire, according to police.

“He lost his wife last year, she was in a nursing home. So, he was just very much a loner, retired, a church-going man,  so I don't know, we just can't fathom who would do something like this,” Gee said.

For over 20 years, she said Ervin lived in the same home and that it's always been a safe and relatively quiet neighborhood.

“Never, ever, ever could we have imagined such a tragedy,” Gee said.

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