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Store burglar died of smoke inhalation

A man found dead in a rural Tulare County grocery store that burned earlier this week died of smoke inhalation, according to preliminary autopsy results released today.

Sheriff's Department investigators said a surveillance camera showed that Juan Gabriel Gonzalez, 29, of the Lindsay and Visalia area was burglarizing the business when a fire broke out.

The fire was reported shortly after 3 a.m. Tuesday at Brothers Market, 19586 Road 196, in Plainview, southeast of Tulare.

Surveillance footage showed Gonzalez entered the store through the attic and was seen collecting items and money as smoke filled the building.

Joe Garcia, spokesman for the Tulare County Fire Department, said investigators believe Gonzalez may have set the fire, but no official determination has been made.

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