(Update Below) – As we reported yesterday, 9-20-15, on our site Billionaire World News, a (then reported to be a $9 million mansion) was reported on fire at 3:30am at 936 Childs Point Road in Annapolis, Maryland from a home security company. At the time neighbors said they believed the family that lived in the home, was on vacation, but since then, other news sources are reporting that the owners Donald and Sandra Pyle were actually home with their 4 grandchildren. Currently police are searching the ruins trying to find the family. The Pyle’s also have 2 adult sons. Real estate listings for the home say it had seven bathrooms and was part of a 7.8-acre estate. The modern, two-storey home, which was built in 2005, also has indoor and outdoor pools and guest house.
Special Agent David Cheplak, an ATF spokesman at the scene, said they are providing help in part due to the size of the residence, which he said was similar in size to a church or warehouse. He said about 15 to 20 ATF agents will be involved, but Anne Arundel County fire officials will continue to lead the investigation. A representative of White and Williams LLP, a Philadelphia law firm that represents AIG, the company that insured the property, told The Capital news the 16,000 square foot property was actually worth $13.9 million. (Though we are more concerned about where the family is instead of how much the mansion was worth.)
As criminal investigators pored over the ruins of the house for any signs the blaze could have been arson, specialists with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives now say the fire is ‘suspicious’ – partly because of how quickly it ravaged the home. Sources at the bureau told CNN that the fire engulfed the mansion so fast that they suspect that chemicals may have been used to accelerate the burning. Capt. Robert Howarth, the commander of the department’s Fire and Explosives Investigative Unit, said they are considering bringing in cadaver-sniffing canines and possibly canines trained to detect explosive accelerants.
But officials said because of the size of the 16,000 square-foot house and the amount of debris that collapsed into the basement, it will be a long road ahead finishing the investigation. They would not speculate on whether the fire was deliberate – but also refused to describe it as an accident. He did, however, reveal that the gate to the property was left open at all times, and that the house had no sprinkler system installed.
In a letter obtained by The Capital Gazette, Severn School Headmaster Douglas Lagarde said the Pyles and their four grandchildren died in the four-alarm blaze.
The letter does not state the source of the information, but Lagarde said the Lower School’s Chesapeake Campus will be closed Tuesday to give students and families time to grieve. An open house at the Lower School scheduled for Wednesday also was canceled, according to the school’s website. Maybe they know something that hasn’t been released yet, we are not sure.
As soon as we find out anything new in the investigation we will update this story.
Mansion Fire Update: 01-21-15 3:45PM Central – Two bodies have been found by Cadaver dogs in the rubble but authorities can not say if they are of adults or children yet. The dogs continue to search….
Mansion Fire Update: 01-23-15 5:30PM Central – Two more bodies were found in the wreckage, authorities said on Thursday. However none of the 4 bodies have been identified.
Relatives of the family have released a statement identifying six family members whom they believe died in the house fire at an Annapolis mansion known in the neighborhood as “the castle.”
The statement confirmed that fire officials have been searching for Don and Sandra Pyle along with their grandchildren: Alexis (Lexi) Boone, 8; Kaitlyn (Katie) Boone, 7; Charlotte Boone, 8; and Wesley (Wes) Boone, 6. Lexi and Katie are the children of Randy and Stacey Boone. Charlotte and Wes are the children of Clint Boone, 37, and his ex-wife, Eve Morrison, 39.
A fifth grandchild is a newborn boy who remained at home with his parents, Randy and Stacey Boone, a spokeswoman for the family said. Randy, 38, and Stacey, 34, live about 15 minutes away from the Pyles. The four oldest children, all students at the Severn School in Severna Park, were at a sleepover with their grandparents Sunday night because Monday was a holiday, the family spokeswoman said. They’d gone to Target on Sunday to buy the children costumes for a visit to Medieval Times at the Arundel Mills mall. Don and Sandy took the kids to eat dinner and watch knights jousting in a banquet setting before heading back to their own castle, as the Pyles’s massive 16,000-square-foot house was known to their neighbors.
Special Agent Dave Cheplak said investigators deployed an “accelerant dog” at the scene for the first time Thursday.
Mansion Fire Update: 01-27-15 10:00 AM Central – Fire crews recovered Monday the sixth and final body from the charred remains of a Maryland mansion a week after it was destroyed by the devastating fire.
Anne Arundel Fire Department spokesman Capt. Russ Davies said that investigators pulled the remains of the final victim from the ruins in Annapolis and that all occupants are now accounted for.
Five bodies were found last week. However, none of the victims have been officially identified.
Mansion Fire Update: 01-29-15 8:25 AM Central
The cause of the fire has just been announced: An electrical fire that spread to a 15-foot Christmas tree prompted the blaze.
Anne Arundel County Fire Chief Allan Graves said in a statement Wednesday that the tree had been cut more than 60 days before the blaze and was in a “great room” of the house with 19-foot ceilings.
“The involvement of the Christmas tree explains the heavy fire conditions found by the first arriving fire crews,” Graves said. The Pyles built the home in 2005, four years before the county began requiring sprinkler systems in new homes.
We will keep you posted with any further updates as we get them.
We would love to hear that the family was found safe, we will keep you posted. Click here to read the Capital Gazette story. See above for updates on this story.
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