"They're all wet, we're trying to dry them out here," said Ron Kawakami, as he looked at the remains of his life, crammed into the garage of his mother's first home.
"My daughter says I'm probably in shock and don't know it," he said.
On Wednesday, 35-year-old Michael Dahilig was charged with manslaughter in connection with the fire that killed Kawakami's mother, 97-year-old Betty Hagihara, and destroyed the home they were living in.
Michael Dahilig has been charged with numerous crimes including three counts of burglary, one count of arson, and manslaughter.
"Just last week I was telling my poor mom to live another three years and celebrate her 100th birthday, but they took that away from her. She was never mean to anyone, just nice to everyone," said Kawakami.
He says he does not recognize Dahilig, but is all too familiar with a burglar in his midst.
For five years, a brazen thief stole thousands of dollars in model airplane parts, tools and even flower seeds from his patio.
"I counted seven times he'd been there," he said.
The night of the fire, a neighbor saw a man pulling out tools to steal, then later, clanking on a propane tank before flames erupted.
And even after the fire, the thief was back to pick through the charred remains of the home before neighbors chased him off, authorities said.
"I can't imagine burning the house down for something you want to steal," said Kawakami.
He said he knows he's still in shock.
Kawakami just hopes his mother didn't suffer before she died.
The firefighters who saved him said she likely passed out first from the smoke.
"But still that's no consolation; they took her life but what for, you know? I just couldn't understand that part. I mean it was really senseless when you think about it."