Couple, four children remain missing after Monday blaze

21 Jan 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Annapolis fire: Search for bodies in the rubble to be underway soon.

They said it’s still yet to be determined if the building was occupied, but that if anyone was inside, they likely did not survive the four-alarm blaze that brought close to a hundred firefighters to the scene. Six people are unaccounted for in the home, including Don and Sandy Pyle, a wealthy couple whose businesses have contracts with the Pentagon and Justice Department. — Investigators are expected to begin the search for a man and a woman and their four grandchildren who have been missing since a fire tore through the Annapolis-area mansion relatives say they were in when it burned to the ground.

According to Captain Russ Davies, Anne Arundel County Fire Department spokesman, the first crews to arrive on the scene Monday morning did try to enter the 16,000-square-foot house, but were forced to turn back when the building started to collapse. Investigators are trying to answer these questions, announcing at a news conference that local police and the ATF are conducting an “active criminal investigation,” though so far there’s no evidence of foul play, the Washington Post reports.

Officials said they spent most of the day Tuesday bolstering walls to make sure they would not fall over, and bringing in large cranes to move chunks of debris. “This house is built more like a commercial property than a residential home,” Mr. Hampering their efforts is the sheer amount of debris, including the fact that 75% of the structure has fallen into the basement, CNN notes; there’s also water in the basement and smaller fires that continue to burn, ABC News reports.

As for the Pyles and their grandkids, initial reports indicated they were out of town during the fire, but it’s now been determined they’re unaccounted for, CNN notes. The school the children attended has sent letters home to parents of classmates relaying they’ve died, though Howarth says, “We still do not have 100% proof that they are in this house.” Nevertheless, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives states that foul play should not yet been excluded from the suspect motives of the fire.

ATF’s Baltimore Field Division reassured that the team who is working on this case will not rest until each piece of evidence from every room is attentively studied. The stabilized environment will allow emergency crews to pump out the water from the basement area caused by firefighters’ attempts to calm down the raging fire.

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