ABC 22 News Team
- Alexandra Lewis
- Amber Watson
- Elyse Coulter
- Hilary Zalla
- Kelly May
- Kristine Frazao
- Nicole Grigg
- Rhonda Moore
- Ann Reynolds
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Tomorrow: Hazy, Hot & Humid with Pop-Up Storms in the Afternoon.
High: 87 Winds: WSW 8-12 mph
UPDATE: Investigators Say Riverside Fire Intentionally Set
RIVERSIDE -- As flames broke out early this morning on Sheller Road, crews had difficulty getting inside the home because a couch was blocking the front door.
When firefighters were able to get past the couch, they found the owner, Edward Knese, sleeping in his bed.
Officials believe the fire at Knese's home was intentional, and it appears several small fires had been set.
Firefighters also tell us they found a loaded handgun and an assault rifle inside the home.
Knese is currently recovering in the hospital.
No charges have been filed at this time.
UPDATE: Riverside Fire Victim Described as "Severely Paranoid"
RIVERSIDE -- Police say the man hospitalized after an early-morning fire had recently reported being followed by people and feared his house was bugged.
Edward J. Knese, 62, of 4222 Sheller Avenue, Riverside, was transported to a local hospital after firefighters reportedly found him sleeping while several small fires were burning throughout the home, including a burning couch that was blocking the door.
Riverside police call Knese "severely paranoid" who likely believed his house was bugged with surveillance equipment.
An Aug. 2 police report indicates Knese complained about unknown males and females following him. Another report, also dated Aug. 2, referred to Knese as "extremely paranoid of anything and anyone." He reportedly turned off all electronics in his house "because he believes his house is bugged," the report states. The report says Knese becomes agitated easily.
Firefighters say they found two loaded firearms from the home following this morning's fire. One was a 9 mm handgun. Another was a 7.62 caliber SKS assault rifle. Firefighters say the rifle was loaded with one round in the chamber and 29 rounds in the magazine.
There's no word yet about Knese's medical condition.
UPDATE: Couch Fire Sends Riverside Man to Hospital
RIVERSIDE -- Firefighters are wrapping up their work on a Monday morning house fire.
The fire was reported around 3:30 a.m. on Sheller Avenue. The man was inside during the fire and unconscious when firefighters pulled him from the home. He was transported to the hospital. His condition is unknown at this time.
Riverside Fire Chief Mark Carpenter told ABC 22/FOX 45 Reporter Amber Watson it appears the fire started in the living room. When crews got to the house they had a difficult time getting inside because a couch was blocking the door and the couch was on fire. The man was just a few feet away sleeping in his bedroom.
"It was lucky for this guy that the neighbors called early and that our crews were nearby and they were able to make entry and did a rapid search and were able to find him in his bedroom quickly and get him outside the structure," Carpenter said.
Carpenter said he doesn't believe the house had any working smoke detectors. The fire wasn't very big and crews were able to knock it out quickly. The house sustained extensive smoke damage.
The cause of the fire is still unknown and arson investigators are investigating.
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