Greensboro police identify body found in pawn shop fire

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GREENSBORO, N.C. — Police have identified a body found inside a Greensboro pawn shop that caught fire on Monday morning as Richard Mao from Randleman.

Crews responded to the two-alarm fire at USA Pawn on Randleman Road at about 8:45 a.m. Monday.

Firefighters attempted to enter the pawn shop but had to retreat due to heavy smoke and concerns the building’s roof may collapse.

After the flames were extinguished and firefighters conducted a search of the interior of the building, they found a deceased person inside.

Police said Mao was getting ready to open the business when the fire started.

Officers haven’t said specifically how Mao died, only that his death was consistent with the exposure to a building fire.

Investigators are also trying to determine whether Mao’s death was an accident or a homicide.

If the fire is ruled arson, police said its likely Mao’s death will be ruled a homicide.


  • Cam H

    Richard was the best person anyone could have ever known and the world is a much darker, less friendly place without him…he will be missed by everyone that had the honor to be called his friend.

    • AJ

      I agree, I worked with Richard at the pawn shop, he was extremely nice to everyone and always has a smile on his face. He will be missed.

  • Brian

    This guy was the best, never late,never absent from work. Always helping out where he could. A very charming individual to be around,always smiling……..R.I.P RICHARD you will be missed be many………This is really sad news…….P.S. They should check out his Boss,She always cutting corners to save money.

  • Buddy

    Richard is definitely going to be missed. It is hard to believe that he’s not here with us anymore. Such a great person to have their life ended so soon.

  • Derek Kelsey

    i am a ex employee of usa pawn and it suprises me that this hasnt already happen! with all the lawnmowers and stuff u had to take outside in the morning so with all the gasoline in the building fueling the fire as it was blocking the door. when the fire inspector came to the store on high point rd Clara made us unplug all the extention cords run through the ceilings and hide them so she would not get caught. Clara when u get your day in court for unsafe work conditions i hope they make you pay double

  • kristig

    Condolences to the family. Richard was a very nice man. Would do anything for anyone. Him and most of his family are close friends oof mine and i send my prayers out to all of them during this terrible time.

  • kisha

    My kids and i are so heartbroken. He was a nice young man.He made us feel comfortable at the store. Now he will truly be missed.
    Deep sympathy to his family, May He Rest In Peace.

  • Tammy

    Richard was/is a wonderful person and i will miss his smile. My thoughts and prayers are with the family. We lost a special friend.

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