Rye house where 3 found dead in fire was arson, reports say

Handyman sought by investigators

RYE, Colo. - A house fire in Rye where three people were found dead had two points of origin, according to several media reports.

The Pueblo County Sheriff's Office has not confirmed the reports of arson from TV stations in Colorado Springs.

The fire broke out Wednesday morning and was still smoldering Wednesday evening in the 8200 block of Highway 165 -- the main highway through town.

The ruins of the two-level home cooled enough Thursday to allow investigators to remove the bodies of two women and a man from the home.  The bodies were taken to the coroner's office for positive identification and autopsies.

Investigators are looking for a handyman who lived at the home until last week and said he might have returned to Texas.   They have been unable to locate him or a van that he had been driving.

Harry Mapps, 59, was last seen driving a blue 2004 Chrysler Town & Country minivan with either Texas or Colorado license plates. The Colorado license plate is 591 SBL. The Texas license plate is 7 FSNK. The sheriff's office said Mapps may be homeless and taking advantage of homeless or veterans services.

"He's not here anymore," said Don Leach, investigations captain with the Pueblo County Sheriff's Office. "We don't have any details as to why. We believe he was here recently, so he could have relevant information."

The home was heated by several wood-burning stoves, Leach told KRDO TV

Rye is located west of Interstate 25, south of Pueblo, Colo.

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