Fire official: 6 unaccounted for in Maryland mansion blaze

20 Jan 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

6 feared dead as four-alarm fire guts Maryland home.

ANNAPOLIS, Md. A massive Annapolis, Md., mansion burned to the ground early Monday, sending authorities sifting through the still-smoking wreckage of the $14 million residence in a desperate search for the home’s owners.Based on information from relatives, six people linked to the 16,000-square-foot home outside Annapolis are unaccounted for, Anne Arundel County Fire Capt. — Six members of a family were unaccounted for after a fierce fire reduced a multimillion-dollar waterfront mansion near Maryland’s capital to a scorched stone framework. Russ Davies told the Associated Press. “If you look at the damage, you know, it would not be a stretch to think that if there were occupants that they did not survive the fire,” he added.

On Tuesday, federal fire investigators were expected to arrive after first light, seeking a cause for the flames that gutted the 16,000-square foot home with seven bedrooms and 7 ½ baths. Russ Davies, a fire department spokesman, told the Gazette. “But we are operating under the premise that there (were) people inside.” While tax records indicate the home is worth $6.2 million, a law firm associated with the company insuring the home pegged its value at $13.9 million, according to the Gazette. The waterfront property is the principal residence of owners Donald and Sandra Pyle, according to information from the state Department of Assessments and Taxation.

Donald Pyle is chief operating officer at ScienceLogic, a Reston-based cybersecurity company that monitors networks for private and government clients, including the Department of Defense. ScienceLogic last year announced a partnership with McLean-based L-3 Data Tactics to bring “big data” monitoring to the U.S. intelligence community and government. So they were pushed back out of the house,”; he said. “There’s no water supply back here, so anything we’re using to fight the fire, we’ve had to bring to the scene,” Davies said, adding that they used tankers and a fire boat.

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’s National Response Task Force, which includes county fire department members, was invited to help identify potential victims because of the size of the blaze. “Nothing leads us to believe this is an arson or incendiary-related fire,” Davies said. 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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