Local News

Computer Store Owner Dies in Fire

Posted April 14, 1997 12:00 a.m. EDT

— A computer store owner died Sunday after firefighters found him inside his burning store near the door.

Roger Tomboulian, 60, was taken to UNC Hospitals and was pronounced dead at 3:19 a.m. Sunday, said hospital spokeswoman Glorida Vaughn.

A passerby called the fire department after seeing smoke coming from Total Computer at about 2 a.m.

Investigators were trying to find out why Tomboulian did not call 911 to report the fire since he was inside.

``What's puzzling to us mainly is the fact that the fire was reported by people seeing smoke and as diligent as he was, we don't understand why he didn't report the fire himself,'' said Larry Johnson, assistant fire marshall.

Johnson said the fire could have been an attempt to cover up a robbery.

``There were no security alarms. He typically would turn all the alarms off while he or his wife were working in the business,'' he said.

The SBI has joined the investigation.

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