Six people missing after fire rips through mansion

21 Jan 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Annapolis mansion burning a day later; 6 people still missing.

Firefighters battle a four-alarm fire at a home on Childs Point Road, early Monday, Jan. 19, 2015, in Annapolis, Md. A fire official says 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.Firefighters are still unable to enter an Annapolis home destroyed by fire, more than a day after the blaze, because they’re concerned about a possible structural collapse. 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. The department is bringing in cranes to move steel beams, and fire crews are working to either brace unstable walls or take down walls that are likely to fall.

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. Six people are unaccounted for, including Don Pyle, an executive at ScienceLogic, a company used to monitor the online networks of the FBI and the Department of Defense. 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. 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 1/2 baths.

Davies says a search will begin when crews stabilize the structure and pump out tens of thousands of gallons of water from the basement — likely Wednesday. 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. Davies said, but cautioned it will be slow going because of pockets of fire still hidden under the rubble. “With the roof and the second floor and first floor collapsed into the basement, it’s created some pockets we can’t reach from the outside,” he told. 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.

Davies said because there was no fire hydrant in the area, firefighters shuttled water tankers to the site and stationed a fire boat at a pier near the property to bring in water. 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. “Tomorrow will be the first of many opportunities we, as a School, will provide for our kids to come together, and I emphasize, if they feel the need to,” Lagarde wrote in the letter to parents obtained by The Capital.

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