2 bodies found in ruins of burned Annapolis mansion

22 Jan 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

2 bodies found after Maryland mansion fire.

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Investigators found the bodies of two unidentified people Wednesday in the charred remains of an Annapolis-area mansion that burned to the ground earlier this week, a fire official said.Six members of the Pyle family — Donald Pyle, his wife Sandra, and four of their grandchildren — were feared to have been in the $6.6 million home, known in the neighborhood as “the castle,” when it burned down. The headmaster of the Severn School, where the children were enrolled, already said in a letter to parents that the four children and their grandparents had died. Authorities said earlier that they were conducting an “active criminal investigation,” although they did not have any reason to believe that the fire was suspicious.

Fire officials and federal investigators were on the scene of the blaze on Tuesday, extinguishing residual hot spots from fire, which reduced the 16,000-square-foot mansion to rubble early Monday. A spokesman for the Anne Arundel County Fire Department said the search and investigation into the fire’s cause will likely take “days, not hours” to complete. The house was constructed more like a commercial building than a typical residence, with heavy steel beams, he said, making it difficult to ensure the scene is safe for investigators to enter.

Robert Howarth, commander of the county fire department’s fire and explosives investigation unit, said Tuesday that investigators were treating the site as a crime scene. Howarth said that is a common practice when there are no eyewitnesses, and it means only that anything recovered in the investigation would be admissible in court. According to a 2008 story in The Baltimore Sun, the Pyles’ house, which was the site of a charity event, was described as looking like a castle, with mini-turrets, stonework and lion statues.

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