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Body found at scene of mobile home fire on Back Road near Sharpsburg

November 05, 2012|By CALEB CALHOUN and DAN DEARTH | caleb.calhoun@herald-mail.com; dan.dearth@herald-mail.com

SHARPSBURG — Fire officials said they were waiting for the medical examiner’s office in Baltimore to determine the identity of a person whose body was found Monday morning in the charred remains of a mobile home near Sharpsburg.

Maryland State Fire Marshal’s Office spokesman Bruce Bouch said Monday afternoon that investigators weren’t able to determine the name or gender of the person found in the debris at 1807 Back Road.

“The body has been collected for an autopsy,” Bouch said. “At this point, we’re waiting ... to determine the cause of death.”

He said he believed the autopsy would be conducted Tuesday.

Officials also had not determined the cause of the fire, Bouch said, but a wood-burning stove was being used when the blaze started.

Marvin Neviaser, 60, who lives at 18103 Maze Lane, on the same hill as the mobile home, said he was asleep when the fire began and woke up when he heard the firetrucks.

“I came out wondering what the engine noises were, and when I walked over, the place was burned to the ground,” he said. “I slept through just about everything.”

Neviaser said he knew of the person who lived in the mobile home, but they were not close.

“He was pretty secluded and stayed back there by himself,” he said.

The mobile home was on a lot off a gravel lane near the Potomac River in a rural area south of Sharpsburg. Debris was scattered around where the mobile home once stood.

Bouch said a State Fire Marshal’s Office accelerant-sniffing dog was brought in but did not detect any sign of gases, liquids or other substances used to commit arson.

He said the fire was reported at 5:15 a.m. It took 20 firefighters about 15 minutes to get the blaze under control.

The only thing left standing among the debris was a cinder block chimney. A red storage shed that stood about 25 feet from the trailer appeared from a distance to be unburned.

Fire companies from Potomac Valley, Sharpsburg and Shepherdstown (W.Va.) were among those called to the scene.

Officials said they weren’t certain whether a dog who was picked up at the scene by the Washington County Humane Society belonged to the resident of the mobile home.

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