BRISTOL, Va. — Detectives scoured the fire scene near Bristol on Tuesday, one day after an unidentified body was found inside a burned home currently on the real estate market.
Washington County Sheriff Blake Andis said the death on Mary’s Chapel Road is “very suspicious,” and remains under investigation.
The sheriff said the Goodson Kinderhook Fire Department was originally called Saturday at 11 pm. to a house fire on Mary’s Chapel Road at Walker Mountain Road. Firefighters worked the blaze, which destroyed the home, until 2:30 a.m. Sunday.
Crews were called back to the scene at 1:30 p.m. Sunday after the fire rekindled, Andis said.
On Monday, a person went to check on electrical wiring at the home and discovered a burned body. The Sheriff’s Office responded to the residence, and the body was taken to the Medical Examiner’s Office in Roanoke for an autopsy.
Andis said detectives returned Tuesday to search for the origin of the fire and learn how it spread through the home.
The home’s owner lives out of the area, and the property has been vacant. The sheriff confirmed that the property has been for sale. No one had permission to be in the home, so it’s not known why someone was there, Andis said.
The sheriff said he expects to receive the autopsy results today and hopes to release the person’s identity.
The home is in a rural area in the Mary’s Chapel community off U.S. Highway 421. Valley Institute Elementary School is more than one mile away from the property.
Detectives have received a few tips during the investigation and have spoken to witnesses. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Sheriff’s Office at 276-676-6000.