Warwick detectives are investigating a suspicious fire that broke out around 9 a.m. Monday after two sheriffs and a moving company went to 88 Greylawn Ave. to serve an eviction notice and to start moving the resident out.
Capt. Joseph Coffey of the Patrol Division said sheriffs reported approaching the house and hearing what sounded like gunshots inside. The sheriffs said the man inside refused to open the door, threw the lock shut and then threw a package out of a basement window onto the lawn just before they heard what sounded like gunshots. They retreated to call Fire and Rescue. Fire and Rescue arrived to find a fire in the basement of the house. Firefighters brought the fire under control and removed the body of an adult male from a bedroom. Houses in the immediate area were evacuated while specialists dealt with the package on the lawn, which eventually proved to pose no danger of exploding.
Coffey confirmed that a body was recovered from the house but said detectives had not yet determined the exact cause of his death, but a handgun was also recovered from the house. Police have identified the man as the former owner of the house, Richard Dodd, 58. Police said the home was foreclosed and sold in 2011. Dodd apparently continued to live there until the eviction notice arrived yesterday morning. Explosives experts checked the area with an explosives-handling robot to determine if the package thrown into the yard was dangerous. It was not.
Capt. Coffey said the investigation is ongoing.