Medical examiner identifies Toms Brook fire victims

By Joe Beck

Authorities have confirmed William Dartnell, 81, and Kikuko Dischleit, 86, as the victims in an early morning fatal fire in Toms Brook on March 20.

Nancy Bull, district administrator for the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Manassas, said Friday the cause and manner of Dartnell’s death remain under investigation, but more information was available about Dischleit.

“The manner of death was accidental, and the cause of death was thermal injuries and inhalation of combustible products,” Bull said of Dischleit.

No information was available from the Shenandoah County Department of Fire and Rescue Friday on the cause of the fire.

The fire destroyed much of the house at 55 Jessica Place where Dartnell and Dischleit lived.

Fire officials said the remaining half of the house was unstable in the aftermath of the fire.

Firefighters were called to the scene at 5:25 a.m. and brought the blaze under control by about 6:30 a.m. Fire units remained on the scene pouring fire on smoldering debris and performing mop up tasks until about 5 p.m.

Fire department officials said firefighters arriving at the scene found the lifeless bodies of Dartnell and Dischleit inside the house.

A neighbor said Dartnell and Dischleit were married and had occupied the house for at least 30 years.

Contact staff writer Joe Beck at 540-465-5137 ext. 142, or

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