by JAMES S. KIM
A husband and wife were found dead last Friday in Rainbow, California, after their home caught fire in the early morning, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.
Hyon Hong, 77, and his wife, Chang, 76, were owners of Hong’s Flower Nursery, which was next to their house in northern San Diego County. According to their real estate agent, Joe Mears, the couple had owned the nursery for 22 years and were planning on retiring and returning to South Korea.
“They were very nice people,” Mears told the Tribune. “They were selling the house, the plants, the greenhouse. They were tired. They worked 10 hours a day. They were going to go back and spend their last years with friends in South Korea.”
Firefighters responded to the fire around 12:30 a.m., finding flames “coming from the back of the home and at least half the structure engulfed in flames,” according to a North County fire spokesman.
The cause of the blaze was still under investigation as of late Friday. Homicide and arson investigators were called to the home, but officials said it was too early to speculate what may have set off the fire.
According to Mears, Hong had bought the house 26 years ago. He spent several years learning horticulture before opening the nursery, where he specialized in growing dragon fruit. As he prepared to retire, however, Hong was looking to sell the house, and had spoken to Mears on Thursday about lowering the price.
“He was very motivated, very animated, excited about moving on,” Mears said of Hong. “He loved it here, but it was time to simplify.”