Police in the Des Moines suburb of Urbandale believe a fatal house fire Saturday may’ve been intentionally set. Police public information officer Randy Peterson says 39-year-old Aaron Chulu was found dead in the basement of his home after the fire was put out.
Peterson says the investigation is still ongoing, but it appears that Chulu started the fire in the basement of the home and it led to his death. He says it appears it was a suicide. Chulu died from carbon monoxide poisoning related to the fire. Peterson says part of their remaining investigation is trying to figure out why Chulu wanted to end his life.
“It’s just kind of a shock and surprise to his family and friends, from what our investigation has shown, it’s just out of the blue, it’s just a big surprise to them,” Peterson says. Peterson says Chulu’s wife and three kids got out of the home after the wife saw what he was going to do.
He says the family was aware there was a fire and they were able to run outside and alert the neighbors that there was a house fire. Peterson says the home was heavily damaged by the fire and smoke and the damage estimate is over $100,000.