Body found June 7 in burned-out house near Clear Spring identified

July 15, 2011|By DON AINES |

 The body found in the rubble of a burned-out home more than a week after a May 27 fire near Clear Spring was the husband of the woman who leased the house, the Maryland State Fire Marshal's Office confirmed Friday.

The Maryland Office of the Chief Medical Examiner Thursday identified the remains as those of Henry Ira McMullen, 61, formerly of Chambersburg, Pa., according to Bruce Bouch, a spokesman for the fire marshal's office.

The fire at 15219 Fairview Road was discovered at about 5 a.m. on May 27. The house was engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived, Maugansville Fire Chief William Garrett said on the day of the fire.

Bouch said the first and second floors of the house collapsed into the basement. Fire and insurance company investigators discovered the remains as debris was being removed on June 7.

The medical examiner's office had not provided a cause of death as of Friday, and no determination has been made as to the cause of the fire, Bouch said. Both remained under investigation, he said.

Bouch said he was unable to learn from the medical examiner's office how the identification of McMullen was made. Maryland State Police also were investigating the fire and McMullen's death, he said.

How Harry McMullen got to the house also remained unanswered, Bouch said.

"It's still up in the air how he got there, because there was no vehicle there" at the house, he said.

Robin McMullen, 52, who leased the house, was in Iowa for training when the fire occurred. She told authorities at the time that no else should have been in the residence at the time, authorities have said.

Harry McMullen and Robin McMullen were granted a marriage license in Washington County is December, according to court records. Robin McMullen was listed on the marriage license application as Robin Dawn Keefer.

Harry McMullen was a square-dancing enthusiast, according to Edgar Brindle of Shippensburg, Pa., a friend and fellow  dancer. He said he last saw McMullen at a dance in Fairfield, Pa., on May 25, two days before the fire.

"He was happy. He was giving the girls hugs, going around greeting everyone .... He was having a good time," Brindle said.

McMullen was a truck driver and a member of the Gad-Abouts Square Dance Club, and had also belonged to the former Whirly Bird Square Dance Club, Brindle said.

Robin McMullen sometimes accompanied McMullen on his truck runs, Brindle said. However, Harry and Robin McMullen were in the process of separating the last time Brindle spoke with him, according to Bouch.

Robin McMullen was in Iowa training to become a truck driver, Bouch said.

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