Authorities ID Body Found Near Explosives at Fitchburg Apartment

Authorities on Tuesday identified the man whose body was found near homemade explosives and propane tanks following a roaring 4-alarm fire at an apartment building in Fitchburg, Massachusetts.

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner identified the body as Raymond L. Jerome, 59, officials said. Authorities did not provide additional information about the man.

"We loved him and we'll miss him," Jerome's cousin, Gloria Jacobucci, said b phone.

The body was found on the third floor of a 24-unit apartment building on Beekman Street, where a fire and series of explosions damaged the structure and displaced as many as 60 people Sunday night.

Worcester County District Attorney Joseph Early Jr. earlier said the body was found under a collapsed roof near two improvised devices, which had detonated.

Jacobucci said she was shocked to learn what had happened.

"He was brilliant. Absolutely brilliant," she said. "He worked at Raytheon for years."

The NBC10 Boston Investigators have learned that there were several legal battles involving Jerome's third-floor condo.

Court documents and tax records show there were three outstanding liens on the unit, which Jerome had owned since 1987. He was one of the longest-tenured owners in the 22-unit Bartley Nolan building, converted from a 120-year-old schoolhouse.

The condo association sued Jerome in Worcester Superior Court, winning a judgment that stood at more than $6,000 at 2016.

The Massachusetts Department of Revenue filed a lien against the property in 2013 for unpaid income taxes totaling more than $2,700. And the City of Fitchburg had an active lien against the property for unpaid property taxes adding up to about $3,400.

Just three days after the explosions and fire, Jerome's condo was scheduled to go up for auction.

Jacobucci says she doesn't want her cousin to be remembered for how he died.

"Someone needs to say something good about him – or he's going to look like a freaking terrorist or something," she said. "He wasn't crazy, he was a good guy."

The investigation is ongoing.

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