ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - Homicide detectives are investigating a deadly house fire in Albuquerque's Northeast Heights.
The fire broke out just before 6 a.m. Saturday morning.
Neighbors say the son of the homeowner had just moved his elderly mother back into the home about six months ago. They also say there was a lot of suspicious traffic in and out of the area before the fire started.
Residents on Lexington near Juan Tabo and Candelaria woke up to quite the commotion.
"I could see this huge glow, and I stuck my head out the back door and saw all the flames," said next door neighbor James Briden. "I knew exactly what was going on."
Briden said he heard a loud bang as the fire started and he called 9-1-1.
"I also tried to yell into the house. There was no answer," he added.
When firefighters extinguished the flames, they found a body inside the home.
"The body, due to the fire, the age sex and I.D. are unable to be determined at this time," said Albuquerque Police Sergeant Ferris Simmons explaining how hot and destructive the flames were.
Neighbors say the only people living in the home were an 84-year-old woman and her 53-year-old son. Police say they are questioning the son, but would not confirm if it's his mom that was killed.
They did say they've been called to the home before.
"This is definitely a location that's on our radar," Sgt. Simmons said, "And the neighbors have been well aware of issues surrounding the property."
Sgt. Simmons confirmed the house has been red-tagged for code violations and criminal activity, but would not elaborate. She said the problems were recently fixed, but neighbors said they've noticed something else.
"There's been a lot of traffic in and out of the home for quite some time," said Briden. "A lot of different vehicles at all hours of the night."
He suspects drug activity and said the woman was just trying to help her son.
"She was arthritic. She was getting around in a walker, and she was just put in a dangerous situation," he added.
The hazmat team was also on scene.
News 13 has learned the woman may have been on oxygen.
Her son has a long criminal history and plead guilty to drug charges in 2003.
The home is completely destroyed.
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