Woman, 83, Son Die in Fortified Foreclosed Home

Pair made last stand on eviction day
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 23, 2010 10:24 AM CDT
Firefighters crouch behind a fence behind a burning house in Reno, Nev.    (AP Photo/The Reno Gazette-Journal, Marilyn Newton)
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(Newser) – A mother and son chose to destroy themselves and their foreclosed home rather than surrender to deputies trying to evict them, police in Nevada say. Deputies and a locksmith arriving to evict Therese Christensen, 83, and her 46-year-old son, Gary, from the Reno home they had lived in for decades heard what sounded like gunshots followed by an explosion, the AP reports. Two bodies were later found inside the heavily fortified home.

"All the windows and doors had been boarded up with plywood from the inside," an officer said of the home in an upscale gated community. "Later, we learned the front door had been barricaded with cases of ceramic tile." Investigators say they believe an accelerant was used inside the home, which had been sold at a foreclosure auction last month.

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