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John Thompson

Elizabethton Bureau Chief
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Updated: Body tentatively identified from fatal Stoney Creek fire

November 8th, 2013 12:56 pm by John Thompson

Updated: Body tentatively identified from fatal Stoney Creek fire

Tony Duncan/Johnson City Press

ELIZABETHTON — Emergency responders to a mobile home fire at 519 Delorean Private Road discovered a body amid the ruins Friday morning. The address is in the Blue Springs section of Carter County.

Sheriff Chris Mathes said the body is probably the sole resident, Jonathan Ray, 49. Next of kin have been notified and an autopsy has been requested. The cause of the fire has not yet been determined.

Mathes said firefighters from the Stoney Creek, Watauga, and Hampton-Valley Forge volunteer fire departments responded. The Carter County Sheriff's Department and the Carter County Rescue Squad also responded.

Mathes said there was no electrical service to the home, but a generator was used as a source of power. A gas can was found inside the home. The sheriff said Ray was a "hoarder" and the collection of all the material provided more fuel for the already hot fire.

The sheriff also said Ray lived a "hermit lifestyle."

Mathes said the fire was reported to 911 shortly after 10 a.m. He said the first responders arrived just minutes later and found the mobile home engulfed in flames. He said one of his deputies, Sarah McWhirter, was one of the first to arrive and helped firefighters knock down the flames.

"They got it knocked down pretty quick," Mathes said.

An investigator with the state fire marshall's office was already on the scene as firefighters worked, looking for clues on the cause of the fire.


ELIZABETHTON — A Stoney Creek man died in a fire in his mobile home this morning.

Officials said the body was tentatively Jonathan Ray was found dead as firefighters extinguished the blaze at 519 Delorean Private Drive off Blue Springs Road.

Firefighters arrived at the trailer around 10:20 a.m.

Sheriff Chris Mathes said Ray lived in a hermit-like existence in the double-wide trailer, and he was the only person in the residence at the time of the fire.

No power was connected to the trailer, and Ray had been using a generator. A gas can was found inside.

Mathes said investigators did not know the cause of the fire.

Authorities planned to send Ray's body to East Tennessee State University's James H. Quillen College of Medicine for autopsy.

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