Six family members still missing in Annapolis mansion fire

20 Jan 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Family of 6 unaccounted for after fire guts mansion.

ANNAPOLIS, Md. – The relatives of six family members unaccounted for after a massive fire gutted a waterfront mansion believe they were inside at the time of the blaze, a fire official said Tuesday. An American entrepreneur and five members of his family are missing after a fire destroyed their home in the town of Annapolis, capital of the state of Maryland. According to WJZ media partner The Baltimore Sun, a letter from the headmaster at the Severn School — where the children attended — IT executive Don Pyle, his wife Sandy and their four grandchildren perished in the fire at 936 Childs Point Road. “We know who’s unaccounted for,” said Capt. Douglas Lagarde, headmaster of Severn School – which the four grandchildren attended – said in a letter seen by a local newspaper that all six had died.

Russ Davies, a spokesman for the Anne Arundel County Fire Department, 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.” Davies has declined to say exactly who they were. 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 seven and a half baths. Previously he had said the occupants might have been out of town, but he later disclosed: “After interviews with the family, it has been determined that six members of the family are not accounted for.” The fire, which began around 3:30 a.m. Property records indicate that cybersecurity executive Donald Pyle and his wife Sandra lived in the home that sits on eight acres and was assessed at more than $6.6 million. Monday morning, quickly ripped through the 16,000 square-foot home damaging floors and floors so quickly, it was impossible for firefighters to conduct a search safely Monday.

The structure also was unstable and tens of thousands of gallons of water needed to be pumped out of the basement before the search begins, Davies said. Because of the intensity of the fire, the size of the house and the collapse of the roof and floors, firefighters have so far been unable to search the structure – which had been reduced to its stone framework and deemed very unstable. Online records of the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation list Don and Sandra Pyle as owners of the home, which the records say is their principal residence.

Neighbors say some of those who are missing could be children, as the couple who lives in the house was due to leave Monday on a trip with some of their grandchildren. He switched to information technology after college, he said, because “I was looking for an industry that was in its infancy and something that would have growth potential.”

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