Fire reported at Livingston home

12/03/2012 7:45 AM

12/04/2012 12:21 AM

A man in his 80s was hospitalized after a fire reported at his home late Sunday night, Livingston police say.

The incident was reported shortly before 11 p.m. in the 1000 block of Prusso Street, according to a press release from Livingston police.

Police and Cal Fire/Merced County Fire Department firefighters were dispatched to the scene after a report of a house fire.

Firefighters battled the blaze. Meanwhile firefighters and police searched for the man, but were unable to find him.

At the request of family members, police forced open a shed in the backyard of the property. Inside, they found the man on the ground, with two stab wounds on his chest. The man was treated by paramedics and taken to a local hospital. Police said his wounds appeared to be self-inflicted.

Detectives also found what appeared to be a hand-written suicide note inside of the shed. The note, which detectives believe may have been written by the man, asked for "forgiveness" for his actions. A can of gasoline was also found inside the bedroom of the house, where the fire started, police said.

Police say they've classified the case as arson, although it's believed the occupant of the home may have started the fire. Police said the case remains under investigation.

-- Sun-Star staff

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