A fiery blaze ripped through a 16,000-square-foot home at 3:30 a.m. Monday. The residence that had been described as a “castle” located at 936 Childs Point Road was first reported to be on fire by an alarm company followed by calls from neighbors who saw the flames rising from the mansion, as reported by CBS News.
Capt. Russ Davies, the spokesman for the Anne Arundel County Fire Department reported to CBS News, “From the family, we know who’s unaccounted for.” Davies would not reveal who specifically could not be located. But, he showed real concern.
“If you look at the damage, you know, it would not be a stretch to think that if there were occupants that they did not survive the fire.”
Capital Gazette reported earlier on Monday that Davies believed there was “a possibility that they’re out of town, but we are operating under the premise that there were people inside.” As of Monday evening, officials were still trying to contact the occupants on their cell phones, but had not gotten an answer.
Don Pyle, CEO of ScienceLogic based in Reston, Virginia, and his wife Sandra Pyle, are the owners of the home, and records indicate that it was their primary residence.
When firefighters arrived on the scene, they were unable to enter the home due to the heavy smoke and intense flames. The house was also collapsing.
Due to the size of the mansion, and the fact that there was no fire hydrant nearby, firefighters had to make this a four-call alarm, bringing in over 85 firefighters from surrounding counties to battle the blaze.
Water tankers were shuttled to the site, and a fire boat at a pier near the waterfront home was used to bring in water, but it still wasn’t enough to save the home.
While the fire was finally under control around 7:05 a.m., the multi-million dollar home was completely destroyed with only basic framework remaining.
The seven bedroom, seven-and-a-half bathroom home that sat on eight acres of land was reportedly worth $13.9 million according to AIG, the company that insured the property as reported by the Capital Gazette.
CNN reports that “The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is assisting the local fire department and an ATF national response team is being assembled because the fire was deemed suspicious, a law enforcement official said.”
The official continued to say that until the investigators determine the cause of the fire, it will be treated as a crime scene.
Neighbors Manfred and Azalea Leckszas recall to CBS News what they experienced.
“We saw a reflection on our bedroom ceiling and it was too early for sunrise.”
Azalea said, “There were two bangs — two thuds — and flames shot way up high in the sky, above the treeline and I thought, ‘Oh my God.'”
Emotional neighbors and friends gathered outside the gate that surrounded the home as two teddy bears were placed at the gated entrance. The Pyles were referred to as “lovely people,” while another neighbor told the Capital Gazette, “It was like an inferno. The flames seemed to shoot straight up.”
Davies reported that it may be Tuesday or Wednesday before firefighters are able to enter the basement of the residence due to the amount of debris, and the remaining hot spots are completely extinguished.
[Photo Credit: MSN.com; CBSNews.com]