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.