ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Somber discovery. Search crews find the bodies of two more people missing following a massive mansion fire that leaves two more victims unaccounted for.
WJZ Investigator Mike Hellgren explains what started as a day of family fun ended in tragedy.
Six family members were inside the mansion. Two more bodies have been recovered, bringing the total to four. They were so badly burned they have yet to be officially identified.
Technology executive Don Pyle and his wife Sandra spent a fun day with their four grandchildren that included a family sleepover. It ended with their 7-bedroom, multi-million dollar estate consumed in flames.
Kevin Sasada knew the Pyles from their Ocean City vacations and love of the Ravens. He came to the home with flowers and a helmet, adding to a growing memorial at the scene near Annapolis.
“Everybody was like a family. They’re definitely going to be missed,” Sasada said. “It’s been tough not knowing, the 100 percent, the closure. Devastated.”
ATF agents confirm they’re using cadaver and accelerant sniffing dogs as part of their investigation.
“They’re trained specifically to alert to several different types of accelerants. So they are currently being utilized today,” said David Cheplak, ATF special agent.
It is unusual for federal agents to respond to a house fire, but this was no ordinary blaze.
“They’re going to reconstruct the entire house. And essentially, it becomes a very complicated crime scene sketch. But they’ll use that to help them figure out exactly where couches and drapes and sofas and beds were throughout the house,” said Cheplak.
In a statement Clint and Randy Boone, sons of Mrs. Pyle — and stepsons of Don — thanked first responders and say their families need time to heal.
“On behalf of the Boone and Pyle families, we wish to express our gratitude and appreciation for the love and support being shared with us during this tragic event. We are blessed that so many family, friends, and neighbors have come together for us in our time of need.
We recognize the dedicated efforts from Anne Arundel County Fire and Police Departments, the Naval Academy, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, and other first responders. We want our community to know how proud we are of all who have helped us.
Our love for our family is boundless. Our loss demands time and quiet reflection to process these feelings. We ask that you respect our need for privacy.
Life is fragile. Make time today to embrace your loved ones.”
They also identify their children, who they believe have perished in the blaze.
Eight-year-old Alexis (Lexi) Boone and her 7-year-old sister Kaitlyn (Katie) Boone, daughters of Randy and Stacey Boone, as well as 8-year-old Charlotte Boone and her 6-year-old brother Wesley Boone, the children of Clint and Eve Boone, are believed to be dead.
Mr. Pyle was very active in charity work, including with the Cal Ripken Foundation, and high level IT work. No evidence of foul play has been found.
The ATF expects to remain on the scene through the week.