Gardnerville fire ruled suicide |

Gardnerville fire ruled suicide

The Record-Courier

GARDNERVILLE – A fire and explosion that killed a Gardnerville Ranchos man has been ruled a suicide after investigators recovered surveillance footage that shows the victim purchasing 12 gallons of gasoline less than an hour before his death.

“The investigation revealed that at 9:09 p.m., 36 minutes prior to the first call to 911 reporting the fire, Robert Kellogg was captured on surveillance film purchasing 12 gallons of gasoline at a local convenience store and pumping that gasoline into portable gas cans,” said Douglas County Sheriff’s Sgt. Tom Mezzetta.

Robert Irvin Kellogg, 53, died in the fire that consumed his home at 1191 Manhattan Way on July 31.

The following day a witness reported seeing Kellogg purchasing the gasoline, and neighbors told investigators Kellogg arrived home moments before the fire erupted.

According to the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, Kellogg’s body was found inside the home after the fire was extinguished.

Investigators confirmed Kellogg’s identity and said the fire had been intentionally set.

A source close to the investigation said two portable fuel containers were found inside the home.

Mezzetta said family and friends had reported Kellogg was despondent over financial and relationship matters.

“We have concluded the death investigation, and determined Mr. Kellogg’s death is a suicide,” he said.

No sign of forcible entry into the home was found in the investigation.

According to neighbors, there were at least three explosions in the home. Firefighters arriving at the scene were told there was at least one person in a back bedroom, but fire conditions and the damage from explosions prevented firefighters from entering the home.

Kellogg was the owner of the home, according to the Douglas County Assessor’s Office. He was positively identified through dental records by the Washoe County Coroner’s Office.

A funeral service for Kellogg was held Monday at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at Spruce Street and Deseret Drive in Minden.

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