UPDATE: Woman found dead in house fire on Cheatham Ave. identified

Posted at 8:40 PM, Dec 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-11 10:59:17-05

(UPDATE 8 AM): The woman who was found dead inside a house fire in Southeast Bakersfield Thursday night has been identified as 73-year-old Rosie Lee Howard.

(UPDATE 12/11): An house fire that was originally identified as 'suspicious in nature' has now turned into a homicide investigation, according to the Kern County Sheriff's Office.

The incident began when KCSO got a call at around 6:20 Thursday evening for a residential fire on the 1500 block of Cheatham Avenue near Cottonwood Road in Southeast Bakersfield.

When deputies and fire crews arrived to the home, it was filled with smoke. When firefighters went inside the house, they found the body of a dead woman.

The victim's injuries were not consistent with those from a fire, according to KCSO.

Officials said one woman was detained at the scene. At this point, her involvement in the situation is not known.

Anyone with information is asked to call KCSO at (661) 861-3110, or the Secret Witness hotline at (661) 322-4040.

This is a developing story, we'll provide more information as it's released.

KCSO homicide detectives currently en route to the 1500 block of Cheatham Ave. for a suspicious death.

The scene is still active at this time.

Additional details will be released when information is available.