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UPDATE: Identifying victim in fire to require DNA, dental-record testing

January 18th, 2014 9:38 pm by Becky Campbell

UPDATE: Identifying victim in fire to require DNA, dental-record testing



Identifying the person who died in a house fire over the weekend will likely require DNA testing and dental-record checks due to the extent of damage to the victim, local authorities said Monday.


“We didn’t see anything that would lead us to believe there was any foul play involved, but due to the extent of the fire damage we were unable to make a determination of identity and we were unable to recover anything from the inside to confirm identity,” Washington County Sheriff’s Lt. Doug Gregg said.


“It will probably have to be an identification by dental records or DNA,” he said. Because of Monday’s holiday, Gregg said it’s unlikely the identity will be released until later this week.


The Limestone Volunteer Fire Department responded to the residential fire at 4:06 a.m. Saturday at 2528 Old State Route 34 and found the structure engulfed in fire.


Gregg said the residence was a single-level house with a basement and a converted side apartment, which was where the fire occurred. 


Most of the apartment’s items were destroyed in the blaze. After getting control of the fire, officials discovered a body in the residence. There were no signs that anyone else was living at the residence, Gregg said.


“Also, due to the possibility of a concrete roof collapse, we couldn’t spend a whole lot of time inside the apartment” to look for clues about the victim’s identity or the fire’s cause.


The fire remains under investigation.



Press Staff Writer Tony Casey contributed to this article.

Earlier version of the story:

Washington County Sheriff’s Lt. Doug Gregg said one person was found dead after an early Saturday morning fire.


He said the Sheriff’s Department and Limestone Volunteer Fire Department responded to a call of a residential fire at 4:06 a.m. at 2528 Old State Route 34.


Gregg said the apartment was mostly made of cinder block walls. Most of the items in the apartment were destroyed in the blaze, which engulfed the building. After getting control of the fire, officials discovered a body in the residence. There were no signs that anyone else was living at the residence, Gregg said.


He said the residence was a single-level house with a basement and a converted side apartment, which was where the fire took place. Gregg said the fire’s cause is undetermined at this time.


A WCSO news release said information on the victim will not be released until the person is positively identified. An autopsy has been ordered, and the body has been taken to the Quillen College of Medicine. The State Fire Marshal is working with the WCSO Criminal Investigation Division in the investigation.


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