2 bodies recovered from scene of fire-ravaged Maryland mansion

Maryland firefighters recover 2 bodies from the scene of a massive Annapolis blaze; 4 people are still missing

Firefighters have pulled two bodies from the scene of a sprawling Maryland mansion that was destroyed by a large fire on Monday, but at least four people remain unaccounted for, officials said.

Owen McEvoy, an Anne Arundel County spokesman, said firefighters recovered two bodies from the wreckage of the 16,000-square-foot Annapolis home on Wednesday afternoon, but their identities were not immediately known.

Capt. Russ Davies, spokesman for the Anne Arundel County Fire Department, said both bodies were found in the home's basement. While investigators do not believe the blaze was suspicious in nature, Davies said the department has not determined an exact cause of the fire.

The waterfront property is the principal residence of owners Donald and Sandra Pyle, according to information from the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation. Last fall, Donald Pyle was named chief operating officer of ScienceLogic, a Virginia maker of cloud computing software, according to the Associated Press.

Some neighbors initially told first responders that the family might have been out of town, but relatives have since told fire officials that the Pyles and four of their grandchildren were last seen at the home on Sunday night, according to Davies.

The design of the Pyles' home has made the search for victims incredibly difficult, according to Davies, who said the roof and top two floors of the structure collapsed into the basement. The home was also built with several steel beams that weigh at least seven tons, making it incredibly difficult to move debris.

"We’re at a disadvantage because it’s such a large structure," Davies said. "We have no eyewitnesses."

Firefighters became aware of the blaze after an alarm system in the home was tripped. Several 911 calls were made, but none came from within the house, Davies said.

The search for other victims was called off around 5 p.m. Eastern time Wednesday due to darkness, but will resume Thursday, Davies said.

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Copyright © 2018, Los Angeles Times


3:51 p.m.: This article was updated with comments from an Anne Arundel County Fire Department spokesman.

This first version of this article was published at 3:19 p.m.

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