Authorities rule Memphis fire deaths a double homicide, accident

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - A fire where three bodies were found was set by a man who was trying to cover up a deadly assault on his wife and stepson but then couldn't escape the smoke, police said Wednesday.

Lt. Toney Armstrong said the dead were identified as Kim Son Nguyen, 44, her son Minh Hoang Nguyen, 24, and her husband, Dung Van Dinh, 45. Their bodies were found early Tuesday by relatives, who pulled them from the burning home.

The medical examiner ruled that the mother and son died from a beating and smoke inhalation. "An investigation has revealed that after physically assaulting his wife and stepson, Dung Van Dinh set their residence on fire.

During this fire he was overwhelmed by smoke and apparently lost consciousness resulting in his death due smoke inhalation," Armstrong said in a statement.

Police said they had been called to the home in northeast Memphis recently for a domestic dispute.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)