Updated at 2:03 p.m.:
Police said the 50-year-old son of a woman whose body was discovered in a burning Royal Oak house early Friday morning was trying to blow it up.
The death of Maxine Hadley, 69, is being treated as a homicide, Police Chief Corrigan O’Donohue said in a statement.
Royal Oak police had been called to the home on a domestic call about 1 a.m. Friday, arriving to find the house in flames, the O’Donohue said. In the emergency call to police, Hadley said her son, 50, was attempting to blow up the house, and neighbors in the area reported hearing an explosion before authorities arrived.
When police arrived, the son, who has not been identified, was using trying to douse the fire with a garden hose. He was arrested at the scene and taken to a nearby hospital for treatment for burns to his legs.
There were no other injuries, and no adjacent residences were damaged. Hadley’s home sustained extensive smoke and fire damage. The fire is believed to have started in the basement, where a small propane tank was found.
Responding officers found the house in flames and attempted to gain entry, but were forced back by the heat and smoke, O’Donohue said. Fire personnel wearing protective gear located Hadley’s body in the basement.
The Royal Oak Police Criminal Investigations Division, in conjunction with the Oakland
County Fire Investigation Unit and Royal Oak Fire Department, are investigating.
Our earlier report:
A Royal Oak woman is dead and her adult son is in police custody after police responded to a fire at 1700 North Altadena Avenue about 1 a.m. Friday.
Royal Oak Police Chief Corrigan O’Donohue told The Oakland Press police were called to the house several hours before it started fire and the woman and her son had been involved in a domestic dispute.
“We are doing an investigation right now,” O’Donohue said. “It sounded like a small propane tank in the basement may have blown up.”
The first floor and the basement of the house reportedly sustained extensive fire and smoke damage.
The 69-year-old victim was found at the bottom of the stairs. The Oakland County Medical Examiner will conduct an autopsy to determine how she died.
According to The Oakland Press, the woman’s son, 50, suffered minor injuries.Police were keeping a strict perimeter around the house, located near 12 Mile and Campbell Roads, the Detroit Free Press reports.