2017-11-22 / Front Page

At least two dead at early morning house fire

One found in vehicle away from fire
Kate Shunney

10:27 a.m. Story updated with additional information.


Police, firefighters and a West Virginia Fire Marshal investigator were at the scene of an apparent fatal house fire east of Berkeley Springs this morning, Saturday, November 25, working to determine the connection between two bodies found inside the burned home and the discovery of a deceased adult female in a vehicle behind the burned home in the 3100 block of New Hope Road.

Fire and police on the scene of a fatal house fire, November 25.Fire and police on the scene of a fatal house fire, November 25.The unnamed female appears to have suffered a gunshot wound, and a firearm was located inside the vehicle with the body, said Sheriff K.C. Bohrer. The vehicle was not burned in the fire.

Shortly after 8 a.m., investigators looking through the burned remains of the home also located one deceased person inside. Officials said an hour later that a second deceased person has also been found inside.

Only partial brick walls and a chimney remain of the single-story home. A neighbor who called 911 to report the fire at 4:30 a.m. told firefighters that a woman, her husband and an adult son lived in the one-story home.

Asst. Chief D.J. Zahnow of the Berkeley Springs Volunteer Fire Company was first on the scene of the blaze and said it was fully involved when he arrived.

Fire companies from Great Cacapon, South Morgan, Hancock, Orleans, Reynolds Store and Gainesboro assisted in tackling the fire in freezing temperatures, bringing it under control by 5:44 a.m.

The vehicles belonging to the occupants of the home were not in the carport, but in the back yard behind the house.

Zahnow said firefighters did a 360-degree sweep around the outside of the house when they learned there could be residents at the home. A firefighter located the deceased woman in an SUV at that point.

Morgan County Medical Examiner Christy Duckwall was on the scene, working with Fire Marshal George Harms and the Sheriff’s Department to investigate the deaths.

A portion of New Hope Road around the home has been shut down as the criminal investigation continues.

This is a developing story.




Return to top