EAGLEVILLE, Pa. (AP) — Police say the body of a man was recovered inside the remnants of his home that he intentionally set ablaze with homemade fireworks after an altercation with a code enforcement officer Thursday afternoon.
Lower Providence Township Police Chief Michael Jackson identified the man Friday as 66-year-old Thomas Razzi. Jackson said a code enforcement officer had come to Razzi's home early Thursday afternoon for a follow up inspection about complaints of hoarding conditions.
Razzi had chased the code officer out of his home while brandishing a handgun. The officer as well as neighbors had called the police, Jackson said.
When officers arrived, Jackson said Razzi ran inside the home with the weapon. SWAT and other officers arrived and created a perimeter around the home. Both gunshots and explosions were heard coming from inside the house, resulting in an hours-long shelter in place order for nearby residents.
Jackson said no officers fired their weapons during the police response. He said investigators believe chemicals Razzi had in his house used in making homemade fireworks caused the explosions after he intentionally set his house on fire. Neighbors said Razzi sold the homemade fireworks out of his residence.
Police believe the gunshots came from ammunitions stored inside the home exposed to the extreme heat from the fire.
A cause of death for Razzi was still under investigation. Jackson said firefighters found his body around midnight after the blaze was substantially put out.
The fire spread in the town house community, destroying two other homes and causing damage to three others.