Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

October 24, 2012

Probe into fatal fire continues: McDowell police confirm discovery of second victim

Bluefield Daily Telegraph

NEWHALL — The West Virginia Fire Marshals Office is continuing the search for the cause of a structure fire that claimed the lives of two McDowell County residents.

Assistant Fire Marshal Scott Rodes was traveling to the fire in Newhall when he spoke Tuesday with the Bluefield Daily Telegraph. He declined to release the identities of the two people found dead after the house burned.

“That would have to come from the family,” Rodes said. “I can tell you it was a 66-year-old female and a 34-year-old male.” Both the man and woman lived at the single-story wood house located along Route 16.

The bodies have been sent to the State Medical Examiner’s Office in Charleston for a complete autopsy, Rodes said.

When asked when a report may be ready, the assistant fire marshal said he could not determine when the investigation would be completed.

“As of right now, no sir,” Rodes said “There’s still a lot to be done at the fire scene.”

Firefighters and law enforcement were dispatched to the blaze at approximately 6 p.m. Monday. Units of the War Volunteer Fire Department and the Berwind Volunteer Fire Department were sent along with the McDowell County Sheriff’s Department and the McDowell County Ambulance Authority.

At first, only one occupant was found and pronounced dead at the scene, but the sheriff’s department confirmed Tuesday morning that the body of a second person had been discovered.

A dispatcher with McDowell County 911 said Monday evening that the home was “fully involved,” the firefighter term for a structure engulfed in flames, when units arrived on the scene.

— Contact Greg Jordan at