Man found dead in house fire
Authorities have tentatively determined the death of a man found inside a burning home in Waterlick on Sunday morning to be a suicide.
Sheriff Daniel T. McEathron said it appeared the victim set fire to the residence before dying of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
“That’s what the early investigation has led us to believe,” McEathron said.
Warren County Fire and Rescue Services reported in a news release that firefighters were dispatched to a home at 30 Cedar Lake Court at 6:13 a.m. Sunday.
“Upon arriving on the scene, fire crews found a single family home with significant fire conditions throughout the home,” the news release stated. “It took fire crews 30 minutes to bring the fire under control.”
The identity of the occupant has not been released.
Chief Richard E. Mabie said the fire caused a combined total of $240,000 in damage to the structure and contents.
“We will probably count it as a total loss,” Mabie said of the house.
Mabie said one firefighter suffered a strained back when he stepped through a hole in the floor. He was treated at the scene and back on duty Monday.
No other firefighter injuries were reported.
Mabie said the fire was discovered by an off-duty lieutenant who was on his way to work and saw smoke coming through the roof.
Mabie said the last firefighting vehicles left the scene at 10:30 a.m., but other members of the department remained behind to investigate.
In addition to the Warren County Department of Fire and Rescue Services, the Fire Marshal’s Office and the Sheriff’s Department, others working the scene included the canine division of the Frederick County Fire Marshal’s Office and the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, according to the news release.
Investigators are asking anyone with information about the incident to call Warren County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Kahle Magalis at 540-635-7100 or Fire Marshal Garry Maiatico at 540-636-3830.
“We’re still looking into it with the state Department of Forensic Sciences as well as the insurance carrier to pinpoint the exact cause of the fire,” Maiatico said.
Contact staff writer Joe Beck at 540-465-5137 ext. 142, or firstname.lastname@example.org