SUNNYVALE -- Police are investigating the death of a woman who was found inside a house engulfed by flames last week as a homicide.

The Sunnyvale Department of Public safety has ruled the cause of the fire as arson, according to police Capt. Dave Pitts. Police are not releasing any additional information regarding their investigation into the woman's death.

The Santa Clara County Medical Examiner-Coroner's Office on Tuesday identified the victim as Elizabeth Helen Blach, 61, of Sunnyvale.

The one-alarm blaze was reported June 18 about 6 a.m. at a single-story house in the 200 block of Central Avenue, two blocks west of South Fair Oaks Avenue.

By the time firefighters arrived, heavy flames were emanating from the home, Pitts said. After a lengthy effort, crews corralled the fire and afterward found a body in the kitchen area.

Neighbors told authorities that a woman lived at the home.

The death is the second homicide in Sunnyvale in two weeks. The first for 2013 occurred June 9, when a bouncer outside the Peacock Lounge was shot and killed.

Two days later, police arrested 25-year-old Steven Craig Bowie Jr. on homicide charges.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Joe Lockwood at 408-730-7134 or leave a tip at svtip@tipnow.org.


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Bay Area News Group reporter Alia Wilson contributed to this report. Contact Mark Gomez at 408-920-5869. Follow him on Twitter @MarkMgomez