Fatal fire in Roan Mountain still under investigation

Published 8:38 am Friday, December 22, 2017

A fatal fire at a Roan Mountain home earlier this week is still under investigation according to Carter County Sheriff Dexter Lunceford.

“We still haven’t heard anything from the State Fire Marshal’s Office,” Lunceford told the Elizabethton Star on Thursday afternoon.

Deputies with the Carter County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of a structure fire around 7 a.m. on Monday at a home on Cove Creek Road in Roan Mountain. When the officers arrived at the home, they found it fully engulfed in flames, according to Lunceford.

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Dispatchers with Carter County 911 told emergency crews responding to the scene a person was reportedly trapped inside the burning residence.

Lunceford said a body was discovered in the kitchen area of the home. On Thursday, Lunceford said his department was not prepared to release the identity of the deceased person.

The body was taken for an autopsy, and Lunceford said medical records would be needed in order to make a positive identification of the individual. The person’s family has been notified, but Lunceford said his department is waiting for positive identification to be confirmed before they release a name.

“We need to make sure we cover all of our bases,” Lunceford said.

Investigators are also awaiting preliminary results from the autopsy to determine how the individual died.

On the morning of the fire local officials contacted the State Fire Marshal’s Office and requested their assistance with the investigation.

Lunceford said no foul play is suspected at this time but if the State Fire Marshal uncovers anything suspicious his department will launch an investigation into the death.

An agent with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation also responded to the fire scene, but a spokesperson with the TBI stated the agent was simply there to assist the Carter County Sheriff’s Office and State Fire Marshal’s Office in their investigations.