Fatal fire victims ID’d
Man, son died in Oct. 17 blaze
— The Maryland State Medical Examiner’s Office in Baltimore has positively identified two bodies found after a raging fire destroyed a house last month, fire officials reported Thursday.
Investigators identified William R. Pyle, 73, and his son, Christopher Ronald Pyle, 44, as the two men killed in the nighttime blaze in the 100 block of Deaver Road, near Marley Road, on Oct. 17, according to Deputy State Fire Marshal Howard F. Ewing.
The official identification comes some two weeks after obituaries for Pyle and his son appeared in the Cecil Whig. Ewing explained that the victims’ surviving family members had made arrangements to publish the obituaries and, at that point, state pathologists had yet to make positive identifications.
Detectives are continuing their investigation to determine the “cause and origin” of the blaze, fire officials reported.
“We have conducted all of our interviews at this point and now we are reviewing our facts,” Ewing said.
The emergency call came about 9:20 p.m. on Oct. 17.
“There was heavy fire in the basement and on the first floor, and there was fire through the roof in the back of the house,” outlined Chief Tim Poore of the Singerly Volunteer Fire Co. of Elkton, which served as the on-scene command unit.
The first wave of firefighters that arrived learned that two people lived in that house, Pyle and his son, and that they were “unaccounted for,” fire officials reported.
Approximately 50 volunteer firefighters battled the blaze, according to Poore. An attached back deck collapsed as firefighters battled the blaze, but it “did not affect the operation,” he noted.
It took firefighters approximately three hours to bring the blaze under control, according to MSFMO officials, who reported Thursday that the fire caused approximately $350,000 in damage to the house and its contents.
“Two deceased victims were located inside the structure,” Ewing reported a day after the fire. “During the course of the fire suppression activities, one victim was discovered deceased. A second victim was recovered deceased several hours after the fire had been extinguished during the fire scene examination by State Fire Marshals.”
In the obituary for William R. Pyle, known by his friends and loved ones as “Ronny,” he is remembered as “a skilled general contractor who specialized in residential additions (and) was known for his strong work ethic and his ability to create and build anything.”
Pyle also is remembered as past member of the Christiana (Del.) Volunteer Fire Co., and as an avid hunter who also enjoyed playing softball.
“Above all else,” his obituary reads, “he will be remembered as a devoted father and grandfather, who was always present for his loved ones.”
His son, Christopher Ronald Pyle, worked in the construction industry for a number of years and was self-employed, according to his obituary.
“Chris adored his children and was actively involved in their lives. He enjoyed playing softball and spending time with his friends in his spare time,” his obituary reads.