An Annapolis mansion fire is still under investigation as authorities attempt to determine what caused the devastating blaze. Officials have also announced that six people, including four children, may have been trapped inside the home.
Maryland authorities have not released the names of the potential victims. However, relatives said Don and Sandra Pyle and their four grandchildren were inside the Annapolis mansion when the fire began.
As discussed by ABC News, the blaze was reported at 3:30 a.m. Monday morning by a neighbor. Although more than 80 firefighters responded to the scene, it took nearly four hours to get the fire under control. Unfortunately, neither the home, nor its inhabitants, could be saved.
Capt. Robert Howarth, with the Anne Arundel County Fire Department Investigations Unit, confirmed “the entire 16,000 square feet has collapsed.” Therefore, the investigation into the cause, and recovery of the victims, could take several days.
Although local statutes require sprinkler systems inside large structures, the Annapolis mansion was built before the fire code was adopted.
Authorities said they will begin sifting through the rubble on Wednesday morning. A representative with the Baltimore Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives said the Maryland State Fire Marshall’s Office and AFT are en route to assist with the Annapolis mansion fire investigation.
Agent Bill McMullan said the team will conduct a “very systematic process,” including forensic photography, mapping, and dogs trained to recognize accelerants. Until proven otherwise, the property “is being treated as a crime scene.”
As reported by CNN, Don Pyle was the COO of ScienceLogic. Although he started out working for his family business, he eventually became interested in the information technology field.
Throughout the next 25 years, Pyle worked his way up from hardware sales to management. His ScienceLogic profile states that he held “multiple CEO positions” and has extensive experience with “information technology infrastructure software and hardware management.”
Anne Arundel County Fire Capt. Robert Howarth said he does “not have 100 percent proof that” Pyle and his family were trapped inside the Annapolis mansion. He said the investigation will be difficult due to the home’s unique construction.
“The construction of the house contained a lot of very heavy materials. We’re looking at some steel beams that weigh in the area of 7 tons.”
According to county records, the home was built in 2005 and was valued at approximately $4.2 million. Throughout the region, the magnificent structure was simply known as “the castle.”
As authorities continue their investigation into the Annapolis mansion fire, the Pyle’s friends and family are “hoping for a miracle.”
[Image via Salem Web Network]