Local News

Police Say Fire Purposely Set

Posted April 16, 1997

— Investigation continues into last weekend's fatal fire at a computer store, but police now say it was set intentionally.

Roger Tamboulian, 61, owner of Total Computer Center on South Elliott Road, was found dead early Sunday when a blaze swept the store. Tamboulian died of smoke inhalation, but in a statement issued Tuesday afternoon police said, "We have not yet determined if the death was a homicide, suicide or accident."

Officials estimate it will take at least two weeks to gather all the information they need to conclude their probe.

The fire was discovered by patrons at a nearby pool hall who smelled smoke about 2 a.m.

Tamboulian's body was found near his store's front door.

The fire began in a back room where cleaning fluids and kerosene were stored. The kerosene was for a portable heater. Officials have said that kerosene was involved in the fire, but not whether it spilled or was poured.

Investigators ask that anyone with information about the fire call Chapel Hill police at 968-2767.


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